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Bariatric surgical center accreditation improves patient survival and postop complications
Date:9/3/2014

tions of the surgical wound, and a leak from the anastomosis, the new connection that gastric bypass creates in the intestines.

The percentage of Medicare beneficiaries who had serious complications decreased from nearly 10 percent between 2001 and 2005 to below 7 percent between 2006 and 2010. On average, the hospital stay decreased from four days to three days during those periods, study data showed.

Most importantly, Medicare patients had a 59 percent reduced chance of dying of bariatric surgical complications before implementation of the 2006 CMS National Coverage Determination compared to after the determination (mortality of 0.23 percent in 2006 to 2010 versus 0.56 percent in the earlier period).

For Medicare patients, the investigators found an in-hospital mortality rate in 2006 to 2010 of 0.23 percent, or one death in every 435 patients undergoing bariatric operations at accredited facilities. In contrast, one of every 178 bariatric surgical patients died in 2001 to 2005 (0.56 percent), when few facilities held accreditation.

During the decade under study, Dr. Nguyen said bariatric procedures changed from primarily open, large-incision operations to most procedures being performed using minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques, a change that could have helped lower the complication rate. To control for this change and other factors that could influence the results, the researchers separately analyzed the outcomes of more than 259,000 non-Medicare patients who underwent bariatric stomach stapling procedures at either accredited or nonaccredited centers from 2006 to 2010.

Even with the use of similar surgical techniques during the same years, nonaccredited bariatric surgical facilities had a 3.53 times higher rate of in-hospital mortality than accredited facilities did.

Currently more than 700 bariatric surgery centers throughout the U.S. are accredited or seeking accreditation through the

Contact: Sally Garneski
pressinquiry@facs.org
312-202-5409
American College of Surgeons
Source:Eurekalert

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