Lap Band Reps Have Doctor Fired For Warning Patients About Surgery Risk
Gastric band surgery has recently overtaken gastric bypass among many people looking to lose weight via surgical procedure. Its less invasive, its quicker, and it can be reversed. Not to say it isnt without its side effects, which may include (and has included) death from complications. Luckily, there are some doctors who understand these risks, and make sure that patients are aware of them before proceeding. Neelu Pal, an Indian immigrant, is one of these doctors. Well, she WAS one of these doctors. Pal was a surgical resident at New York University Medical Center until recently. She couldnt help but notice that a larger than normal number of patients were coming through the doors with weight issues, and being sent right back out with gastric bands. Knowing the risks involved, she began to call patients before their scheduled surgery dates to inform them of such risks. When her supervisors found out about this, she was promptly fired and essentially prohibited from practicing medicine in the United States. Heres where it gets a little murkier. Pals supervisors, Christine Ren and George Fielding are paid consultants for Allergan Inc. This is the company that manufactures Lap-Band, the brand name gastric band that holds well over half of the market, which is estimated to be nearly a $400 million industry. So to break this down, we have paid consultants for a lap band manufacturer running a medical facility, and firing a doctor who advises patients of the risks of surgery involving her supervisors products. Supervisors who have already been under fire for falsifying data on patients, and refusing to address other patients post operation complications. Complications like lack of urination, leading to toxicity, leading to death. Pal has said that an estimated 30 gastric band procedures were performed daily at NYU Medical Center. Since being fired she has filed suit against NYU Medical, and enrolled in law school.