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Bariatric Surgeries Jump 450% in U.S. in Five Years

Surge in weight-loss operations from 1998 to 2002 could be tied to increased laparoscopies

MONDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A 450% increase in bariatric surgeries in the United States between 1998 and 2002 could be tied to the growth of laparoscopic bariatric surgery, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

Ninh T. Nguyen, M.D., of the University of California, Irvine Medical Center at Orange, and colleagues studied nationwide data on 188,599 patients who underwent bariatric surgery for morbid obesity between 1998 and 2002.

Bariatric operations increased in number from 12,775 to 70,256 during this five-year period. The rate of bariatric surgeries increased from 6.3 to 32.7 per 100,000 adults. And laparoscopic bariatric surgery jumped from 2.1% to 17.9% of bariatric surgeries, the researchers found.

Bariatric surgeons in the American Society for Bariatric Surgery rose from 258 to 631; institutions performing bariatric surgeries nearly tripled (131 to 323); and laparoscopic bariatric surgeries increased 44-fold annually, the report indicates.

"The accelerated growth in the field of bariatric surgery within the past five years has corresponded with the dissemination of laparoscopic bariatric surgery," the authors write.

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