Bariatric Patients Seeking Lawyers - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/9/02

Bariatric Patients Seeking Lawyers

NewsChannel 11 has learned families of even more patients are coming forward saying they developed complications as well. They're asking a Lubbock law firm to represent them.

NewsChannel 11 has been told that two more families called the law firm of Turner and Jordan in Lubbock, bringing the total number of families who are seeking representation to six. The other four families contacted the law firm on Thursday, and now, attorneys are trying to find out what went wrong during the patients' bariatric surgeries, otherwise known as stomach stapling. They were performed at Highland Medical Center.

The patients are from Houston, North Carolina, central Texas, and three patients are from West Texas. However, none of those live in Lubbock. Details on the new patients are not available yet.

However, NewsChannel 11 does know at least four patients had weight loss surgery, and it the operations were performed by Houston doctor, Ramesh Srungaram, at Highland in late July. The patients reportedly developed infections afterwards because of a possible leak in their stomachs.

One woman died from complications on Thursday morning. Three others were transferred to UMC this past week. Dr. Srungaram says those types of surgeries are very complex, and he's still trying to figure out what went wrong himself.

"It's not something unusual, the patients understand, and we stress the need to understand that this is not a simple operation," says Dr. Srungaram.

Dr. Srungaram resigned from Highland. He worked there for about three weeks in July. He was filling in for another doctor who was on vacation. Dr. Srungaram performed 25 surgeries at Highland, but he says that he's done 600 similar surgeries in the past.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson from Highland said the hospital is investigating what happened. Other than that, they have no comment.

Lubbock attorney Tommy Turner said the three surviving patients at UMC have not gotten any worse than they were on Thursday. Their families have requested to UMC to not release any information on their conditions.

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