Please note, The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP is no longer accepting Lap Band claims. If you feel that you may have a potential case, we urge you to locate another law firm adequately suited to handle your claim.
Lap band surgical procedures, otherwise known as gastric banding, have established themselves as the latest in revolutionary weight loss treatments. Corresponding surgeries witness the placement of a silicone device around the top portion of the stomach, as to reduce the volume of open space and simulate a sense of feeling full. However, lap band surgical procedures may coincide with severe complications. Patients who receive a lap band device may significantly increase their risk of developing ulcers, seroma, erosion, esophagus dilation, and stomach wall deterioration.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a lap band device, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free confidential case evaluation. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.
Lap Band Lawsuit Overview
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has currently approved the use of two individual gastric bands: Lap-Band, by Allergan Inc., and Realize Adjustable Gastric Band, by Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc. Each of which are approved for use in adults who have proven unsuccessful in losing weight through non-surgical methods, such as diet, exercise or behavior modification. Subsequently, these devices are only approved to be used on those who have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40 or a BMI of at least 35 and at least one health condition associated with obesity, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Lap band surgical procedures witness a trained medical professional place a circular silicone band around the upper portion of the stomach, resulting in a separate chamber. The narrowed passageway between the newly created chamber and the rest of the stomach regulates the speed and volume in which food passes to the lower part of the stomach. The band limits the amount of food that can be eaten at one time, therefore simulating a sense of fullness while simultaneously reducing the amount of food consumed. A doctor can adjust the device, without the need for additional surgery, by inserting a needle through the skin into a port connected to the band. Doing so allows patients to adjust their eating habits accordingly and maintain a healthy weight.
While demonstrating a unique propensity for the eradication of unwanted and potentially harmful body fat, lap band surgical procedures may coincide with severe, life-threatening complications. Unfortunately, a variety of extremely serious complications have been reported in patients who have undergone lap band surgery. Side effects associated with the lap band have been reported to include ulcers, seroma, erosion, esophagus dilation, and stomach wall deterioration. Due to the severity of such complications, patients may contact a lawyer at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP for a free case evaluation regarding their potential lap band lawsuit.
Lap Band Complications
Invasive surgical procedures come with an inherent risk and may exhibit a propensity for the development of several complications that vary in severity. However, surgeries preformed on obese individuals witness a heightened rate of adverse complications. According to Herbert Lerner, M.D., a general surgeon and supervisory medical officer at the FDA, “surgery itself has risks, including death, and those risks are heightened for people who are obese.” The following is a comprehensive list of the complications that have been associated with lab band surgery:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty swallowing
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Upset stomach or pain
- Stretching of the stomach pouch
- Stretching of the esophagus
- Moving of the gastric band, requiring another surgery to reposition it
- Erosion of the band through the stomach wall and into the stomach, requiring another surgery
These complications have served as the catalyst for several lap band lawsuits across the United States.
FDA Lap Band Warning
The ambiguous nature of invasive lap band procedures display an inherent degree of risk. However, several surgical centers and one California marketing firm have been accused of neglected to include the risks of such procedures in their marketing campaigns. While their advertisements boast of the miraculous weight loss results provided by lap band procedures, they fail to address significant corresponding risks. Neglect such as this is in direct violation of federal law. The allegedly deceptive advertisements suggest that lap band procedures are without concern.
The “FDA’s concern is that these ads glamorize the Lap-Band without communicating any of the risks,” says Steven Silverman, director of the Office of Compliance in FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “Consumers, who may be influenced by misleading advertising, need to be fully aware of the risks of any surgical procedure.” The allegedly deceptive ad campaigns fail to address that lap band procedures may coincide with nausea, vomiting, GERD, upset stomach, displacement of the silicone band, erosion of the silicone band and stretching of both the esophagus and stomach. Adverse events such as these have led to at least five deaths since 2009.
According to an FDA News Release, the following companies received warning letters for their involvement in the deceptive advertising campaign:
- Bakersfield Surgery Institute Inc.
- Beverly Hills Surgery Center
- Palmdale Ambulatory Center
- Valley Surgical Center
- Top Surgeons LLC
- Valencia Ambulatory Center LLC
- Cosmopolitan Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
- San Diego Ambulatory Center LLC
According to federal law, lap band advertising must contain relevant warnings and information about precautions, side effects, and contraindications. After having allegedly broken the law, by neglecting to add the appropriate risks to their advertising campaigns, the companies mentioned above received warning letters from the FDA. The letters address the neglect, on behalf of the companies, to provide required risk information, including warnings, precautions, possible side effects and contraindications of the lap band procedure. According to the letters, the companies were asked to pull their misleading ads and notify the FDA within 15 working days of action taken to correct them.
Do I Have a Lap Band Lawsuit?
The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in lap band lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Again, if you or a loved one has been injured by a lap band device, you should contact our lawyers immediately by clicking the link below or calling toll free 1-(949) 557-5800. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.