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Bariatric Surgery and Death Rate - Complications Include Vomiting Reflux Diarrhea - Cost of Procedure Increased - Gastric Bypass Surgery

July 23rd 2006

Bariatric Surgery and Death Rate - Complications Include Vomiting Reflux Diarrhea - Cost of Procedure Increased - Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric Bypass

Researchers say that four out of 10 obesity surgery patients develop complications and complications for those non-elderly obesity surgery patients with private insurance increased by 81 percent.  Amazingly 21.9 percent of these patients developed complications while they were still in the hospital and 39.6 percent developed complications by the end of the 180-day study period.

According to Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D, “Obesity surgery is helping thousands of Americans who have not succeeded at losing weight reduce their risk of diabetes and other life-threatening diseases, but this study shows how important it is for patients to consider the potential complications when they make the decision to undergo the procedure.  The study also should give clinicians information that will help them make improvements in the procedure and post-surgical care.”  Clancy is a doctor and Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

 

The most common difficulty was “dumping syndrome”, which accounted for nearly 20 percent of the complications.  This is where the patient vomits, has reflux and diarrhea.  Another problem was “anastomosis complications”.  This is complications resulting from the surgical joining of the intestine and stomach, causing leaks or strictures (12 percent).  Other complications include abdominal hernias (7 percent); infections (6 percent); and pneumonia (4 percent).

The researchers also studied 44 types of conditions that can occur in patients following major surgery, regardless of the type of operation.  These complications included intestinal obstruction, gastrointestinal disorders, abdominal pain, chest pain, and nutritional disorders.  The overall death rate for the 180-day postoperative period studied was low, only 0.2 percent.    

 

Complications also increased the cost of the surgery.  The average cost was $36,542 for obesity surgery patients who experienced a complication up to 180 days after surgery.  This is compared to $25,337 who did not have a complication.  The cost for patients who had to be readmitted within the 180 day period averaged $65,031.  This could be compared to $27,125 for those who did not have to be hospitalized again.

The researchers got their information from claims filed for hospital care and outpatient care.  This included 5.6 million enrollees under age 65 in employer-sponsored health plans for 45 large employers in 49 states for the years 2001 and 2002. The claims data included information on 2,522 bariatric procedures.

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Marsha Quinn
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Books on Dieting

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Important:  The material on Best Syndication is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. You should promptly seek professional medical care if you have any concern about your health, and you should always consult your physician before starting a fitness program.
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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                   Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:46 PM