NHS Gastric Band Bypass Patient Awarded £35,000 Over Complications.
A Gastric Band Surgery patient from Cleethorpes, Humberside has been awarded £35,000 after the weight loss operation went wrong. Rachel Benefer, 28, who struggled to lose weight was unhappy her weight issues and was concerned about her health after reaching 23 stones. She decided the only option was to have a gastric band fitted through surgery but unfortunately the weight loss operation went horribly wrong.
After Rachel Benefer had the surgery, the surgeon thought the operation went well but they later realised that their was a serious problem when Rachel was rushed into intensive care where she was placed in an induced coma.
According to the legal action taken against the hospital, it was claimed the surgeon undertaking the Gastric Bypass Operation had failed to close a small incision properly and this error resulted in Rachel Benefer spending five weeks in hospital.
'NHS Gastric Bypass Operation Goes Wrong'
The mum of two told the Grimsby Telegraph: "When I came out of the coma I couldn't walk, I was confused, I didn't know who anyone was and I was hallucinating.
"I kept asking my family what had happened and my memory is very patchy."
The Gastric Band Operation was carried out at Hull and East Riding Classic Hospital after Rachel Benefer thought to get the NHS to pay for the operation where she was first initially turned down.
The Gastric Bypass Operation has
been criticized by a number of health experts with some saying the weight loss operation should be a last resort while other health experts have said people who are overweight should be looking to have Gastric Band Hypnotherapy or TranceBand as it is also known, which is safer and does not require surger
y, instead it is all done through hypnotherapy and creates amazing weight loss results.
Rachel Benefer explained: "Everything seemed fine and I was discharged," she said. "But a few days later I was being sick and I was in agony.
"I was rushed to hospital and ended up in intensive care for two weeks and was later placed in an induced coma."
According to reports, the surgeon had failed to suture on of the port entry sites which was used to insert the surgical instruments and this caused complications.
Rachel who thought long and hard about having the Gastric Bypass surgery developed a hernia obstructing her small bowel, which caused pressure and blew out the stomach bypass.
Due to the complications of the Gastric Bypass Surgery, Rachel had to have two further operations and spent 11 days on a ventilator.
She said: "I spent a total of 11 days on a ventilator and also underwent a tracheotomy," she said.
"People think having a gastric bypass is an easy way out, but I had thought about it and had tried everything to lose weight, including hypnotherapy.
"When I was at 23 stone I was just a mess, I was depressed and also stopped working as a carer because I couldn't get about, I became a recluse.
"Before I hit puberty I was extremely thin but then the weight just piled on, even though I often only ate one meal a day.
"I didn't eat a lot of chocolate, sweets or crisps, I ate normal meals.
"My husband Chris has been by my side the whole time, we have been married for eight years and he loves me, no matter how much I weigh."
As a result of the Gastric Band Surgery, Rache
l has been left with a number of problems since the operation which took place in 2007 which includes not being able to move her big toe on her left foot and where she often falls over.
She explained: "I have to use plastic plates because my hands seize up and I drop things, I'm even scared to be alone with my children."
"At one point I went down to seven stones and after having another baby I now weigh about ten stones ten pounds," she said.
"People need to realise there can be complications, they need to research having a bypass and understand the risks involved."
Bridge McFarland Solicitors acted on behalf of Rachel Benefer and helped her to settle the case where she was awarded £35,000, however some health experts believe Rachel should have been awarded a great deal more and would like the government to do a full investigation into the incident as well as the Gastric Bypass procedure as a whole.
By Diane Walker