ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Know Your Asthma Triggers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Pain-Relieving Powers of Acupuncture Unclear
Taking the Mystery Out of Hypnotherapy
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
In Elderly Women, Hip Fractures Often Follow Arm Breaks
Fall Sports Peak Time for Lower Leg Damage
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
CANCER
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Smokeout '08: The Perfect Time to Quit
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
CAREGIVING
Medication Errors Could Be Cut: Experts
Hispanic Children More Likely to Have Hearing Loss
Diabetes Epidemic Now Poses Challenges for Nursing Homes
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
Red Meat No No No But Oily Fish Yes Yes Yes
Is Your Refrigerator Getting Enough Attention For Your Raw Food Success?
Mediterranean Diet May Help Prevent Depression
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Climate Change Linked to Longer Pollen Seasons
Agent Orange Exposure Tied to Prostate Cancer Return
FDA Faulted for Stance on Chemical in Plastics
EYE CARE, VISION
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
Thyroid Problems Boost Glaucoma Risk
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
FITNESS
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Coffee Cuts Liver Scarring in Hepatitis C
Keep Fire Safety in Mind as You Celebrate
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Psychiatric Drugs Might Raise Cardiac Death Risk
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Cherry-Enriched Diet Cut Heart Risks in Rats
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
SENIORS
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
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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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