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Bariatric patients have 65% lower chance of complications at top hospitals: HealthGrades study
Date:7/28/2008

Golden, CO (July, 29 2008) Bariatric surgery patients treated at highly rated hospitals have, on average, a 65 percent lower chance of experiencing serious complications compared to patients who undergo surgery at poorly rated hospitals according to a study released today by HealthGrades, the nations leading independent healthcare ratings organization. As part of the study, the quality ratings of hospitals performing bariatric surgery in 17 states became available today at www.healthgrades.com.

HealthGrades' third annual Bariatric Surgery Trends in American Hospitals study, which evaluated bariatric surgical outcomes at every hospital that performed them in 17 states, also found that the complication rate for these surgeries continues to rise, increasing six percent from 2004 to 2006. One possible reason: lower volume facilities have higher complication rates.

Bariatric surgery is a general term describing several types of weight loss procedures. HealthGrades study analyzed the outcomes of the most common, including traditional open surgical gastric bypass procedures as well as newer, less invasive procedures such as "lap-banding" and laparoscopic gastric bypass.

Complications associated with gastric bypass surgery accounted for the highest rise in complications, increasing 17 percent. Comparatively, complications from less invasive laparoscopic surgery increased by just more than one percent. Complications associated with bariatric surgery include heart attack, kidney failure, stroke and post-surgical infections.

The HealthGrades study found a significant shift toward laparoscopic bariatric procedures. From 2004 through 2006, open gastric bypass procedures declined by 81.82 percent while during the same time period laparoscopic procedures increased 418.86 percent.

Meanwhile, the total volume of bariatric surgical procedures in the U.S. continues to grow rapidly. The A
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Contact: Scott Shapiro
sshapiro@healthgrades.com
720-963-6584
HealthGrades
Source:Eurekalert

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