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For weight-loss surgery, minimally invasive procedure yields better outcomes, study finds

There are two ways to perform Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, which is by far the most popular weight-loss operation in the United States: one is to operate in a traditional manner through a large incision in the abdomen; the other is to operate through a few miniature incisions using small instruments and a small camera for guidance. But how do these approaches compare?

A group of Stanford researchers looked into this question by tapping the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, the largest publicly available, all-payer inpatient database in the United States. What they found was that the minimally invasive procedure was safer and resulted in less expensive hospital bills. As I wr0te in my news release on the study, which was published today in the Archives of Surgery:

The patients who underwent the laparoscopic, or minimally invasive, procedure had lower mortality rates, lower complication rates, shorter hospital stays and lower hospital charges compared with those who underwent open surgery, even after adjusting for differences in the patients’ socioeconomic levels and co-morbidities, the study reports.

John Morton, MD, MPH, the study’s senior author, told me he wasn’t surprised that the laparoscopic technique got good marks for patient safety, but added: “What did surprise me was the degree of superiority pretty much across the board compared with open surgery.”

Previously:  The challenges of dieting and the promises of bariatric surgery, Stanford expert weighs in on study comparing gastric bypass and banding, Study finds family members of weight-loss-surgery patients also shed pounds and Study hints at benefits of weight-loss surgery for less obese patients
Photo by riverofgod

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