Hospitalization Before and After Gastric Bypass Surgery

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) is the most common bariatric procedure currently used in the treatment of morbid obesity. This retrospective study presents rates and indications for inpatient hospital use before and after RYGB for Californians receiving RYGB in California hospitals from 1995 to 2004. The researchers examine the relationship between patient comorbidity and post-operative hospitalization as well as pre- and post-RYGB rates of individual hospitalization and reasons for inpatient hospitalization. Study data was drawn from the annual hospital Patient Discharge Database which contains discharge abstracts for hospitalizations in all acute care hospitals in California.

Key Findings:

  • In California between 1995 and 2004, 60,077 patients underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery.
  • The rate of hospitalization in the year preceding RYGB was 7.9 percent, while the rate in the year following RYGB was 19.3 percent. Patients followed for three years post-operation showed a reduction in hospitalization rates from 20.2 percent in the first year to 14.9 percent in the third year.
  • Before RYGB, patients were most often admitted for obesity related problems such as osteoarthritis and lower extremity cellulitis, and elective operations such as hysterectomy. After RYGB, the most commonly recorded reasons for admission were possible procedure-related complications such as ventral hernia repair and gastric revision.
  • Patients who had higher incidence of comorbidity and hospitalization during the three-year period before RYGB were more likely to be hospitalized during the year following RYGB.

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