Costs and Bariatric Surgery


Anchor lead: Is bariatric surgery cost effective in the long run? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Men who had bariatric surgery 10 years ago didn’t have lower healthcare costs overall than men who did not, a recent study in the Veteran’s Administration health system showed. Kimberly Steele, a bariatric surgeon at Johns Hopkins, says those who undergo bariatric surgery now differ significantly.

Steele: In today’s world our population, unfortunately I think is mostly women. It should be even, and a younger population, mean age around 45. Nowadays really it is the laparoscopic vertical sleeve that’s the go to operation. So in that sense there is some difficulty to look at just the negative the cost. We shouldn’t just be looking at cost we should be looking at health. What are the health  outcomes because that’s what’s of value to our society.  :30

Steele notes that overall health includes things like resolution of diabetes and subsequent reduced cardiovascular risk. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.