16th June 2011
Patients who undergo outpatient gastric band surgery may be being placed at an increased risk of complications, research has shown.
An investigation into over 50,000 patients who underwent the procedure and were discharged from hospital earlier than normal showed that they were significantly more likely to develop complications, or even die from issues in the 30-day period following the surgery.
Researchers at Stanford University found that those who were discharged on the same day as the operation were 13 times more likely to die after the operation than those who left after two days.
John Morton, Professor of Surgery and Director of Bariatric Surgery at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, said: "This study shows what a difference a day makes. Bariatric surgery is safer than ever, but discharging patients too soon after surgery may be pushing the envelope too far and may have serious consequences."
He added that length of stay seemed to be more of a determining factor than age, health, gender or race.
Risks associated with bariatric surgery include hernia, infection at the site of the surgery and pneumonia, although scientists point out that it is still a very safe and very effective operation.
Posted by Jeanette Royston
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