The show My 600lb Life is controversial, yet people still watch the episodes whenever they can. The premise is pretty straightforward, as patients who are morbidly obese undergo weight loss surgery in an attempt to better their lives.
The structure of each episode is always the same, but the outcome varied from patient to patient. At the beginning of each episode, we see how terribly the patients are living due to their weight. Most of them cannot get out of bed, let alone live a fulfilling life. They often feel as though they're a burden on their family and spend most of their day eating fast food or other unhealthy options.
Patients then go see Dr. Nowzaradan, a renowned bariatric surgeon, who offers to help turn their lives around as long as they prove they're dedicated. This means sticking to a 1200 calorie diet that features healthy foods and limited exercise. If patients can lose a certain amount of weight in a month, they'll be approved for weight loss surgery.
Dr. Nowzaradan, referred to as Dr. Now by most patients, then performs weight loss surgery on the patients, with the hopes that they'll keep up with the program. He's seen as a hero of sorts, giving these patients a second lease on life they may not have gotten otherwise.
However, Dr. Now is currently dealing with a nasty lawsuit that is nothing to scoff at.
Dr. Now and Houston Obesity Surgery and Best Care Clinic, INC were sued in September of 2017 by a patient who had undergone laparoscopic surgery to remove her gastric banding and port. She also had a hiatal hernia repaired. According to the lawsuit, Dr. Now and his team left "foreign bodies" inside the patient.
“Within days of the procedure, plaintiff developed persistent extreme abdominal pain and pressure to her lower abdomen inconsistent with post-operative pain,” the court papers read. “Plaintiff sough follow-up evaluation, treatment and prognosis from two physicians and discussion began for the removal of the stainless steel connector and tubing."
The tubing was allegedly left inside the patient for two years. The plaintiff is suing the doctor for “improperly treating and failing to completely remove all of the components of the gastric band system and by failing to recognize that he left behind a portion of the stainless steel connector and a 29 cm portion of tubing.”
“As a direct result of the negligence and breach of standard of care by defendants, plaintiff suffered complications including, but not limited to, pain, suffering, pelvic pain, and increase adhesions requiring an additional surgery and general anesthesia for removal,” the lawsuit states.
The plaintiff is suing for damages over $200,000, but not more than $1,000,000.
The case currently remains active, and Dr. Now has denied the allegations. However, this is not the first time the renowned surgeon has been sued for malpractice.
Michelle Park, a patient of Dr. Now, sued the surgeon in 2012 for an eerily similar issue. Park and her lawyers claimed that Dr. Now had left a 6.69 inch piece of tubing inside her body after gastric sleeve surgery. According to Park, the tubing was not found until 22 months after the procedure.
“The tube punctured Mrs. Park’s colon,” the lawsuit alleged, “requiring the surgical removal of a part of her colon.”
Park claimed that the malpractice caused her physical pain, mental anguish, physical impairment, disfigurement, and a loss of earning capacity. She also asked for her medical and hospital expenses to be covered.
This case was dismissed in 2013, and there were rumblings that it was settled in a top-secret mediation setting. Dr. Now himself said it was pretty straightforward.
“The lawsuit against me was dismissed because I was not the one who left the tube," he told RadarOnline.
The 72-year-old surgeon has been helping people for many years, but some are wondering if it's time for him to step away from the surgical field. My 600lb Life is currently run by a company owned by Dr. Now's son, which may be the reason the show hasn't asked Dr. Now to leave. Considering the amount of scandals TLC has dealt with in the past, it's interesting to see that this one has gotten a pass, but others have not.