Gastric band surgery is a common type of weight loss surgery normally considered for those who, despite serious attempts to lose weight through a healthy diet and exercise, have a BMI of 40 or higher.
It is a major surgery, one which is not recommended lightly, however for some it can be a useful tool in achieving life-changing results, and can lead to immeasurable improvements in quality of life. It is for this reason that many people choose to accept the dangerous risks associated with surgery to help them in what is often a lifelong battle to lose weight.
Unfortunately, it has recently been uncovered that a top surgeon, who worked for both NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and Nuffield Health, failed on a number of occasions to carry out this surgery correctly.
Professor David Galloway retired in 2015. Prior to this he carried out gastric band surgical procedures for over a decade on a number of people both privately and whilst working within the NHS. Following recently highlighted complications suffered by patients he operated on, it has become apparent that mistakes have been made under his care.
In the examples which have been highlighted so far it is understood that Professor Galloway has failed to place the gastric band in the correct location. His misplacement of the band involves it being put around the abdominal aorta, which is the main vein running from the heart to the stomach.
Although described as rare, the complications associated with this surgical error are extremely serious. So much so that NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde have already contacted a number of patients who underwent this procedure while Professor Galloway was employed by them. Nuffield Health have also confirmed that a review of Professor Galloway’s gastric band patients is underway.
Investigations will follow and those who have had their gastric band fitted incorrectly will be faced with a difficult decision. The hope is that investigations will show the majority of those who underwent this surgery have nothing to worry about, however the reality is that the incorrect fitting of their gastric bands will see some individuals faced with the prospect of further surgery to correct the problem.
Aside from the obvious harm caused by having to undergo a further procedure, and with it all the usual risks posed by major surgery, those who are affected by the failings of this surgeon may well face additional, long-standing and continuous health problems.
Accordingly, anyone who has suffered because of the incorrect placement of their gastric band by Professor David Galloway may be entitled to compensation.
In my role within the Medical Negligence department at Thompsons Solicitors, I have already been instructed by a number of affected individuals. If you wish to discuss the treatment you have received, please get in touch.
Blog by Jonathan Howat, Associate