Weight-loss surgery improves lives and saves money

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A new BJS (British Journal of Surgery) study indicates that weight-loss surgery is cost-effective over 10 years and can save healthcare systems money over a lifetime. Researchers used a decision-analytic model to come to their conclusion.

Weight-loss surgery was associated with reduced average costs to the UK National Health Service by €2742 (£1944), and a gain of 0.8 life-years and 4.0 quality-adjusted life years over a lifetime compared with usual care. It also had the potential to reduce the lifetime risks of obesity-related cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

The results emphasize the clinical benefit of weight-loss surgery and the monetary gains that result from avoiding obesity-related illnesses.

"Despite increased rates of obesity in the UK, England has one of the lowest utilization rates of bariatric operations in Europe and issues with limitations in patient access to surgery," said co-author Vasily Lukyanov, of Synergus AB, in Sweden. "The findings of the study justify non-limited access to surgery to all eligible categories of obese patients in England."

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bjs.10857

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