Bariatric Surgery Found to Reduce Future Health Care Costs
(HealthDay News) — Gastric bypass surgery may save health care dollars down the road, a new study suggests. The findings were scheduled to be presented at ObesityWeek 2015, a meeting hosted by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and The Obesity Society and held from Nov. 2 to 6 in Los Angeles.
For the study, the researchers compared 823 obese people who had laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery with 786 obese people who did not have weight-loss surgery.
The investigators found that in each of the four years after surgery, the patients' health care costs decreased by 12, 28, 37, and 35 percent, respectively. There were even larger reductions in health care costs for those who had type 2 diabetes: 23, 49, 61, and 69 percent, respectively. Health care costs for those who had gastric bypass surgery were $7,592 less per patient over four years than for those who did not have the surgery.
And, the authors added, among patients with diabetes, health care costs for those who had gastric bypass surgery were $22,609 less per patient over four years than for those who did not have the surgery, a savings of 78 percent. In addition, the researchers found that about 70 percent of patients with diabetes also saw a remission of their disease after surgery. The average cost of the gastric bypass surgery in the study was $25,238, according to the report.