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Healthgrades Bariatric Surgery Report 2013 Evaluates Hospitals Performing Obesity Surgery In The U.S.

DENVER, July 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Healthgrades, the leading online resource that helps consumers search, compare and connect with physicians and hospitals , today released the Healthgrades Bariatric Surgery Report 2013: Your Choices Influence Your Outcome. The new report assesses the performance of hospitals performing obesity surgery in the U.S. and provides important information to help consumers improve the likelihood of a safe bariatric surgery experience.

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Today, more than one- third of adults in the United States are considered obese. 1 A recent study forecasts that within 20 years, the number of severely obese adults will more than double. 2 Most recently, in June of this year, the American Medical Association officially designated obesity as a disease, strengthening the discussion about obesity-related treatment options, including bariatric, or weight-loss, surgery.

The Healthgrades report, which included hospitals performing three different surgeries for obesity, looked at vertical sleeve gastrectomy, laparoscopic adjustable gastric band and laparoscopic gastric bypass. Healthgrades identified four key issues for consumers when thinking about bariatric surgery:
  • Bariatric surgery can be safe and effective. While all three surgical options had similar complication rates, they differed in the amount of weight loss. As a result, it is important for patients to understand their options in terms of risks and benefits.
  • Respiratory issues were the most common complication. Patients should discuss these risks with their doctor and care team. Together, they should have a plan to prevent them and to deal with them if they occur.
  • Hospitals with more experience had better results. The hospitals that performed higher numbers of the procedures had significantly lower complication rates.
  • Quality matters. Hospitals rated with 5 stars by Healthgrades had 71% lower complication rates than 1-star hospitals and 46% lower rates than 3-star hospitals after adjusting for patient risk factors. Before deciding on when and where to have surgery, patients should use this data to understand hospital relative performance.

"The Healthgrades report provides a risk-adjusted assessment of in-hospital complications following bariatric surgery that will help consumers compare all hospitals analyzed that perform bariatric surgery on a level playing field," said Arshad Rahim, MD, Group Vice President, Quality Improvement and Innovation, Healthgrades.  "Patients, together with their doctors, may use the information in this report to help insure they select hospitals with favorable in-hospital outcomes to ensure the best long term result of this important health decision."

For the current report, Healthgrades analyzed clinical outcomes of 204,069 bariatric surgery discharges from 467 hospitals in 18 states (representing 55% of the U.S. population) where data are publicly available from 2009 through 2011. Healthgrades measured hospital performance based on risk-adjusted in-hospital complications—preventable problems patients had during their hospital stay.

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