Legal Issues in Bariatric Surgery: How to Protect Yourself

Tue 1:15 PM -- 5:15 PM

Location: Room 30B

Track: CME

Course Directors:
Mitchell Roslin MD and Marina Kurian MD, FASMBS

*Up to 3.25 CME credits available.*

Course Overview and Target Audience:
This course is designed for bariatric surgeons and covering general surgeons who will benefit from tips to improve practice and documentation.  These can be applied for all surgical cases with particular attention to bariatrics as well as a critical focus on emerging bariatric litigation issues. This course provides participants with tangible ways to mitigate risk and identify medical practice issues.  Mock trials give a privileged perspective based on clinically timely scenarios.

Additionally, areas that may represent future risk will be discussed.  The course will culminate with a mock trial between top litigators.

Course Objectives:
Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Highlight past events that resulted in malpractice claims and judgments
  • Develop strategies to reduce risk and provide instruction on best method to handle an adverse event.

Maintenance of Certification:
For bariatric surgeons, surgeons new to the field of bariatric surgery, and primary clinicians, this event will provide CME in their specific specialty to comply with Maintenance of Certification (MOC) in the following areas:  (1) Patient Care, (2) Medical Knowledge, (3) Interpersonal and Communication Skills, (4) Professionalism, (5) Systems-Based Practice, and (6) Practice-Based Learning and Improvement.

Course Outline:

Introduction – Marina Kurian, MD, FASMBS and Mitchell Roslin, MD

What Has Caused Lawsuits and Payouts in Bariatric Surgery?
1:20pm    Medical Perspective – Daniel Cottam MD
1:30pm     Legal Perspective – Todd Bartos, Esq.

The Experience of a Bariatric Risk Retention Group – Neil Hutcher, MD

My Top 10 Things I Do to Avoid a Malpractice Suit
1:50pm   University Practice – Scott Shikora, MD, FASMBS
1:55pm   Private Practice – Kelvin Higa, MD, FASMBS
2:00pm   Malpractice Insurance Perspective – Marina Kurian, MD, FASMBS
2:05pm   Comments – Thomas Gerspach, Esq.

2:10 pm
Mock Trial: Umbilical Hernia after Laparoscopic RYGB

Plaintiff Attorney: Todd Bartos, Esq
Defense Attorney: Thomas Gerspach,  Esq
Witnesses:  Alan Wittgrove, MD, FASMBS; Robert Brolin, MD; Samer Mattar, MD, FASMBS; Kevin Reavis, MD

This is a case of a laparoscopic RYGB where an incidental umbilical hernia is found.  The hernia is repaired primarily, and the patient is discharged on POD #3 .  She calls surgeon on POD #4 complaining of pain in abdomen and speaks to Physician Assistant who increases pain meds.  Patient continues with severe abdominal pain on POD #7 and takes a double dose of pain meds.  Patient calls EMS the next morning and is taken to another hospital in shock.  Undergoes ex lap where an incarcerated umbilical hernia is found with ischemic bowel and an anastomotic leak of the gastrojejunostomy.   Patient stays hospitalized and requires multiple other procedures for several months.  Eventually discharged but claims she is permanently disabled

Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall/Trial “Recess”

Mock Trial Resumes

Q&A Session

4:40 pm
The Future of Malpractice Claim – Mitch Roslin, MD

4:50 pm
Panel Discussion – All Faculty

Conclusion – Marina Kurian, MD


// Content is tentative and subject to change //


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