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CA Details Bariatric Surgery Trends by Hospital

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, October 27, 2011

Parker said, "patients seeking bariatric surgery usually don't have access to this kind of information on the safety of these procedures, except what's provided by the physicians. And the physician's information is also often generally limited to what's out there in the research world, and what their experience is in just their own hospital."

The report lists volumes and percentages for each of five types of weight-loss surgeries for each hospital: laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (Lap RYGB, the most common representing 68.1%), Lap Band, Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG), Open RYGB, and Biliopancreatic Diversion (BPD).

According to the report, RYGB and BPD "were associated with the highest complication and death rates and the longest hospital lengths of stay," while Lap Band procedures had the lowest.

Readmissions from all bariatric bariatric procedures occurred for 6.4% of patients, compared with 2.6% readmission rate for all inpatient procedures (excluding childbirth, procedures in newborns, and for cancer patients.)

And while there were troublesome readmission rates for bariatric surgery, they have declined since 2005. Readmissions were most common in RYGB operations, averaging 10.5%, followed by VSG, 9.2%; BPD, 9% and Lap RYGB, 6.8%.

There was wide variation in what types of procedures certain hospitals specialize in.

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