ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Most Kids With Type 1 Diabetes Lack Vitamin D
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
Bone Density Predicts Chances of Breast Cancer
CANCER
Mineral May Reduce High-Risk Bladder Disease
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
CAREGIVING
What Moms Learned May Be Passed to Offspring
For Dialysis Patients, More Pills = Lower Quality of Life
TV Watching Doesn't Fast-Track Baby's Skills
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
DIABETES
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Fasting on Alternate Days May Make Dieting Easier
Healthy Eating While On Vacation
Coffee or Tea Consumption May Lower Stroke Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Household Chemicals May Affect Cholesterol Levels
Genetics, Environment Shape Sexual Behavior
Smog Standards Need Tightening, Activists Say
EYE CARE, VISION
Vision Test for Young Children Called Unreliable
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
Time Teaches Brain to Recognize Objects
FITNESS
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day? Who Knew!
Avoiding a Holiday Season of Discontent
Basketball Star Details His Struggle With Gout
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
Multivitamins Might Prolong Life
Should the FDA Regulate Tobacco?
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
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
Psychiatric Drugs Might Raise Cardiac Death Risk
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
MEN'S HEALTH
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Countdown to Hair Loss
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
MENTAL HEALTH
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
SENIORS
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
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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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