What Is Wernicke’s Encephalopathy?

Wernicke’s Encephalopathy is a type of brain damage caused by bariatric surgery which then can lead to a vitamin deficiency. Bariatric surgery that can be done to help patients who struggle with their weight keep off the pounds. Post-surgery, the patients will have a limited ability to eat as well as a diminished ability to absorb nutrients they do consume, leading to this vitamin deficiency. The brain damage occurs from a lack of thiamine, which is also known as vitamin B1. Symptoms of this vitamin deficiency wreaking havoc on the human mind is:

  • Confusion

  • Vomiting

  • Impaired balance or movement (ataxia)

  • And movement-related eye issues, such as repetitive and incontrollable movement of the eyes.

The lack of an immediate diagnosis of this vitamin deficiency can lead to irreversible brain damage that can lead to great pain and suffering for the victim and their family. Our expert attorneys are available for consultation of you or someone you know has undergone bariatric surgery and later suffered from Wernicke’s encephalopathy-related symptoms or a diagnosis. A delay in treatment can lead to irreversible brain damage. The longer the delay of a patient’s diagnosis with Wernicke’s encephalopathy, the more increased risk of life-long brain damage or even death.

Ultimately, the most common symptom to be on the look-out for when it comes to Wernicke’s Encephalopathy is ataxia or “gait abnormalities up to the full inability to walk or move.” The second most common can present itself as a deteriorated sense of mental stability such as delirium, confusion, and problems with staying alert in certain situations. The final most common is an eye movement disorder in which the eyes move repetitively, or a paralysis-like state or weakness of the eye muscles. These symptoms are usually seen together, although two or one can be present before the others.

Act Quickly

It is extremely important to take action as quickly as possible to ensure the lawsuit can best benefit those affected and their loved ones. Send us an email or call Jon K. Davis, PC, at (516) 730-3446 today.