As a Michigan medical malpractice lawyer, I have become familiar with a number of bariatric surgery centers and and hospitals throughout the entire state. Bariatric surgery can have a positive life changing impact on a person from a medical and psychological perspective. There are also significant risks to weight loss surgeries that can cause serious injury and even death.
All people considering weight loss surgery should do their research before selecting a surgeon and surgical facility. These are two important factors in the success of the surgery and the long-term outcome. With a large number of hospitals and surgery centers performing these surgeries, patients have many great options to choose from nowadays. However, you should do your research and ask the right questions to make sure that your choice is the right one.
Forest Health Medical Center in Ypsilanti, Michigan offers weight loss surgeons and is affiliated with Barix Clinics. In the lawsuits that I have filed against this center for medical malpractice, I have learned a few facts that you should take into account when choosing your surgeon and surgical center. These may have changed recently so you should ask your surgeon and the medical staff about them if you are considering surgery at Forest Health Medical Center.
1. Forest Health Medical Center does not have an emergency department like a regular hospital. There are no emergency room physicians available to treat an emergent medical condition after hours. The patient would have to be rushed by ambulance to another local hospital. If you are discharged home and have complications, you may have to go to a different hospital and have a different surgeon who is not familiar with your surgery treat you for your condition.
2. The Barix Clinic does not have a CT Scan to check for post-operative complications, like a bowel obstruction or post-surgical leak. You would have to be taken to another facility for this type of study. Most hospitals have CT scans on site.
3. The surgeons, internists, anesthesiologists, and radiologists may not be employed by Forest Health Medical Center. The papers that you are required to sign may state that these doctors are independent contractors. This means the facility may to avoid liability for medical malpractice by claiming that it did not employ the doctors who worked there and treated the patient. Your paperwork may be different but you will want to read it carefully.
4. There may be no physicians or surgeons at the facility after hours to see patients. Most hospitals have medical residents and interns to round on patients during the night and to report to the attending surgeon if there are any complications or concerns.
5. The facility has an after hours hotline to call with any problems, but your call may not be returned by the surgeon who did your surgery.
Most major Michigan hospitals have their own bariatric centers, like the University of Michigan and William Beaumont Hospital. If you are concerned about undergoing a major surgery at a surgical center instead of a major hospital, you may want to check out those bariatric programs as well. Forest Health Medical Center is accredited as a Center of Excellence and has had patients with excellent results.
The bottom line is that you must research your surgeon and facility before undergoing weight loss surgery. You may feel comfortable with Barix at Forest Health in Michigan after doing your due diligence, but you should know all of the important information. Don't decide based upon glossy brochures and nice presentations. Your life and future health depend on it.