ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
Holistic Treatment for Candida Infection
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
Hip Replacement Boosts Mobility at Any Age
A Winning Strategy to Beat Spring Sporting Injuries
CANCER
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Mineral May Reduce High-Risk Bladder Disease
Gene Screen May Predict Colon Cancer's Return
CAREGIVING
Many Alzheimer's Caregivers Admit to Abusive Behavior
Late-Life Fatherhood May Lower Child's Intelligence
Study Casts Doubt on Influential Hospital Safety Survey
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
COSMETIC
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
DIABETES
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
DIET, NUTRITION
Eat Up, But Eat Healthy This Holiday Season
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Eating Free Range
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Think You Are Lead-Free? Check Your Soil
Is It Safe to Go in the Gulf Coast's Water?
Rainy Areas in U.S. Show Higher Autism Rates
EYE CARE, VISION
Brain Adapts to Age-Related Eye Disease
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
FITNESS
Go To Work But Skip The Car
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
8 Drugs Doctors Would Never Take
Olde Time Medicine Therapy May Prevent Alcoholic Relapse
Eating Lots Of Vegetables, Olive Oil May Extend Life
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
A Little Chocolate May Do the Heart Good
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Scary Toxins Make Halloween Face Paints Questionable
MEN'S HEALTH
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
MENTAL HEALTH
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
SENIORS
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Health Tip: Be More Comfortable During Childbirth
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Bariatric Surgery Centers Don't Deliver Better Outcomes

TUESDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Having bariatric surgery at hospitals designated as centers of excellence doesn't reduce a patient's risk of complications or death, a U.S. study finds.

Bariatric surgery restricts the amount of food a person can consume or digest.

To be designated centers of excellence by the American College of Surgeons or the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, bariatric surgery centers must meet certain guidelines, including: performing at least 125 operations per year; employing a bariatric surgery coordinator and personnel to do long-term follow-up on patients; and entering patient outcomes into proprietary databases, which requires trained staff and a subscription to a database.

Medicaid and Medicare patients are required to undergo bariatric surgery at designated centers of excellence, the researchers noted.

"These criteria make intuitive sense but lack an evidence base for their application," wrote study author Dr. Edward H. Livingston, of the University of Texas Southwestern School of Medicine and Department of Veterans Affairs, Dallas.

He analyzed data on 19,363 U.S. patients who had bariatric surgery in 2005, including 5,420 (28 percent) who had their surgery at centers of excellence. Overall, 6.4 percent of the patients developed complications, and 0.1 percent died in the hospital.

At centers of excellence, 6.3 percent of patients developed complications and 0.17 percent died, compared with a 6.4 percent complication rate and a 0.09 percent death rate at other hospitals, the study found.

The average length of stay was 2.6 days at both centers of excellence and other hospitals, but average costs per patient were higher at centers of excellence -- $11,527 vs. $10,984.

The study was published in the April issue of the Archives of Surgery.

"It has been shown that the minimal annual procedure volume required to be designated as a center of excellence [125 cases per year] does not necessarily result in better outcomes, and that the minimum volume requirement is not evidence-based. Most importantly, this volume criterion significantly restricts access for bariatric surgery care," Livingston said.

"Designation as a bariatric surgery center of excellence does not ensure better outcomes. Neither does high annual procedure volume. Extra expenses associated with center of excellence designation may not be warranted," he concluded.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about bariatric surgery.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, April 20, 2009

Last Updated: April 21, 2009

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