Bariatric surgeries soar

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 5, 2007

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Surgery for obesity increased dramatically from 1998 to 2004, according to a report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality released in January.

According to the paper, "Bariatric Surgery Utilization and Outcomes in 1998 and 2004," from the agency's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, this type of operation has gone up 804% from 13,386 procedures in 1998 to 121,055 in 2004. Associated inpatient costs increased 756%, with about $147 million spent in 1998. In 2004, more than $1.26 billion was expended.

This is explained by the fact that this procedure's safety profile has improved, and the number of people who are eligible has grown.

Officials are warning the health care system to be braced for the increasing number of people who receive this surgery and who will need aftercare.

"As the rate of obesity continues to climb, the health care system needs to be prepared for continued escalation in the rate of this surgery and its potential complications," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, MD.

Note: This item originally appeared at

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn