ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Acupuncture Eases Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects
New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Alcohol Abuse Can Damage Bones
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
Breast-feeding Might Shield Women From Rheumatoid Arthritis
CANCER
Breast Self-Exam Rates Go Up With Counseling
Vitamin E, Selenium and Soy Won't Prevent Prostate Cancer
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
CAREGIVING
Bariatric Surgery Centers Don't Deliver Better Outcomes
Transition From Home to Hospital Rarely Seamless
Are Hospital Mobile Phones Dialing Up Superbugs?
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
DIABETES
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
DIET, NUTRITION
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Eating Vegan or Raw-Vegan at Regular Restaurants
Successful Weight Loss Shows Unique Brain Patterns
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Population-Based Strategy Urged to Cut U.S. Obesity Rate
Household Insecticides May Be Linked to Autoimmune Diseases
Lead Exposure in Childhood Linked to Criminal Behavior Later
EYE CARE, VISION
Ordinary Chores Cause Half of All Eye Injuries
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
FITNESS
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
After Job Loss, People Report More Health Issues
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Ingredient in Dark Chocolate Could Guard Against Stroke
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Teen Stress May Have Roots in First Three Years of Life
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
SENIORS
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
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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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