• Article

Gastric bypass as treatment for obesity trends, characteristics, and complications

OBJECTIVE: This paper describes national trends in gastric bypass procedures from 1998 through 2003 and explores the demographic and health profile of those who receive this procedure. Short-term outcomes such as length of stay and in-hospital complication rates are also examined. RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES: Data on obese hospital inpatients who had gastric bypass were obtained from the 1998 to 2003 National Hospital Discharge Survey. Gastric bypass was reported for an estimated 288,000 discharges during the 6-year study period. Trends within the 6-year period were tested using weighted regression. Characteristics of gastric bypass patients were compared with those of other inpatients using a chi(2) test of independence and the two-sided t test. RESULTS: The estimated number of hospital discharges with gastric bypass increased significantly, from 14,000 in 1998 to 108,000 in 2003. During this period, the average length of stay declined by 56% from 7.2 to 3.2 days. Gastric bypass patients were primarily women (84%), 25 to 54 years of age (82%), and privately insured (76%). A 1 in 10 complication rate was found for discharges with gastric bypass. DISCUSSION: Gastric bypass procedures in the United States have increased rapidly since 1998, whereas the average hospital stay has decreased. The decreasing length of stay needs to be evaluated in conjunction with potential complication rates and the permanent change in anatomy and lifestyle that must accompany this procedure. Monitoring trends in use of this procedure is important, especially if reimbursement policies change and the epidemic of obesity continues


Shinogle, JA., Owings, MF., & Kozak, LJ. (2005). Gastric bypass as treatment for obesity: trends, characteristics, and complications. Obesity Research, 13(12), 2202-2209.