MDU says rapid rise in past two years over gastric bands

Medical Defence Union (MDU) figures show a rise in the number of patients taking legal action after paying for weight loss surgery, The Times reports.

Common problems are post-operative infection and gastric bands slipping or leaking after being fitted to shrink the size of a patient’s stomach.

Of 35 medical negligence claims involving bariatric surgery in private hospitals notified to the MDU since 2003, 21 have been in the past two years. At least one patient has died and another was left in intensive care.

Christine Tomkins, chief executive of the MDU, said that there had only been two or three claims a year until 2008, when the number had risen ten-fold. The estimated value of active cases ranges from £2,500 to £500,000.