ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
'Snowbirds' Beware the Climate Changes
Scientists Discover How Osteoarthritis Destroys Cartilage
Genes May Help Drive Rotator Cuff Injury
CANCER
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
CAREGIVING
Many Alzheimer's Caregivers Admit to Abusive Behavior
TV Watching Doesn't Fast-Track Baby's Skills
Few Hospitals Embracing Electronic Health Record Systems
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
DIABETES
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
DIET, NUTRITION
Is Coffee Good or Bad for Your Health?
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
HELP TO LOSE WEIGHT ON A LOW CAL BUDGET
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
EPA Alerts Seniors to Carbon Monoxide Dangers
Genetics, Environment Shape Sexual Behavior
Bed Bugs Bring No Disease Danger
EYE CARE, VISION
Brain Adapts to Age-Related Eye Disease
Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
FITNESS
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
Fall Cleanup Is a Prime Time for Accidents
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Treat symptoms (result of disease) or diagnose systems (cause of disease)?
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
Deployment Takes Toll on Army Wives
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Gene Variation Found in Boys With Delinquent Peers
Don't Leave Your Kids In The Car !
Frequent Feedings May Be Making Babies Fat
MEN'S HEALTH
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
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
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
Exercise, Weight Control May Keep Fibromyalgia at Bay
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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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