Bariatric surgery has become one of the fastest growing operative procedures due to its sustained results and the increasing prevalence of obesity worldwide. Despite this fact, bariatric surgery carries the usual risks and threats of surgical interventions and therefore its benefits might be undermined by its mid and long-term complications.
This retrospective study included obese patients requiring bariatric surgery from January 2004 to December 2017 provided by a private healthcare organization in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Data regarding healthcare utilization were extracted from an administrative database (software Oracle Business Intelligence). Continuous variables were expressed as mean and standard deviation. Log-Rank test was used to adjust the survival curve (software STATA 13.1, Stata Corp, USA). This historical cohort resulted in no interventions, neither during the instituted treatment nor after the observed outcome. Privacy of subjects and the confidentiality of their personal information were handled in accordance with the ethical principles of the Declaration of Helsinki.
In total, 16,786 patients were included in the study (mean age 37.2 ± 10.2 years; female 79.2 percent; mean body mass index 42.4 ± 5.5 kg/m2). Patients were followed for up to seven years before and after surgery (total of 78,113 patients/year). For this group, the hospitalization rate was 0.099 / patients-year before versus 0.151 / patients-year after the bariatric surgery (p < 0.001). There were 224 deaths (1.33 percent) identified during the follow-up period, 0.4 percent in the first 30 postoperative days. The average costs for hospitalization were USD 3,339.36 and USD 4,305.04 for open and laparoscopic surgery, respectively.
Bariatric surgery has been an increasingly popular choice in the management of obesity. In our sample, it did not reduce the overall mid-term healthcare utilization rate.