Extreme obesity affects nearly 8% of Canadians, and is debilitating, costly and ultimately lethal. Bariatric surgery is currently the most effective treatment available; is associated with reductions in morbidity/mortality, improvements in quality of life; and appears cost-effective. However, current demand for surgery in Canada outstrips capacity by at least 1000-fold, causing exponential increases in already protracted, multi-year wait-times. The objectives and hypotheses of this study were as follows: 1. To serially assess the clinical, economic and humanistic outcomes in patients wait-listed for bariatric care over a 2-year period. We hypothesize deterioration in these outcomes over time; 2. To determine the clinical effectiveness and changes in quality of life associated with modern bariatric procedures compared with medically treated and wait-listed controls over 2 years. We hypothesize that surgery will markedly reduce weight, decrease the need for unplanned medical care, and increase quality of life; 3. To conduct a 3-year (1 year retrospective and 2 year prospective) economic assessment of bariatric surgery compared to medical and wait-listed controls from the societal, public payor, and health-care payor perspectives. We hypothesize that lower indirect, out of pocket and productivity costs will offset increased direct health-care costs resulting in lower total costs for bariatric surgery.
Population-based prospective cohort study of 500 consecutive, consenting adults, including 150 surgically treated patients, 200 medically treated patients and 150 wait-listed patients. Subjects will be enrolled from the Edmonton Weight Wise Regional Obesity Program (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), with prospective bi-annual follow-up for 2 years. Mixed methods data collection, linking primary data to provincial administrative databases will be employed. Major outcomes include generic, obesity-specific and preference-based quality of life assessment, patient satisfaction, patient utilities, anthropometric indices, cardiovascular risk factors, health care utilization and direct and indirect costs.
The results will identify the spectrum of potential risks associated with protracted wait times for bariatric care and will quantify the economic, humanistic and clinical impact of surgery from the Canadian perspective. Such information is urgently needed by health-service providers and policy makers to better allocate use of finite resources. Furthermore, our findings should be widely-applicable to other publically-funded jurisdictions providing similar care to the extremely obese.
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Centre for the Advancement of Minimally Invasive Surgery, Room No. 502 CSC, 10240 Kingsway Avenue, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta T5H 3V9, Canada; University of Alberta, 2-590 Edmonton Clinic Health Academy, 11405-87 Avenue NW, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 1C9, Canada.
Am J Surg. 2014 May;207(5):743-6; discussion 746-7
Medical tourists are defined as individuals who intentionally travel from their home province/country to receive medical care. Minimal literature exists on the cost of postoperative care and complications for medical tourists. The costs associated with these patients were reviewed.
Between February 2009 and June 2013, 62 patients were determined to be medical tourists. Patients were included if their initial surgery was performed between January 2003 and June 2013. A chart review was performed to identify intervention costs sustained upon their return.
Conservatively, the costs of length of stay (n = 657, $1,433,673.00), operative procedures (n = 110, $148,924.30), investigations (n = 700, $214,499.06), blood work (n = 357, $19,656.90), and health professionals' time (n = 76, $17,414.87) were summated to the total cost of $1.8 million CAD.
The absolute denominator of patients who go abroad for bariatric surgery is unknown. Despite this, a substantial cost is incurred because of medical tourism. Future investigations will analyze the cost effectiveness of bariatric surgery conducted abroad compared with local treatment.
Advanced laparoscopic courses serve as a comprehensive and popular Continuing Medical Education (CME) activity. Knowledge of basic laparoscopy is an assumed prerequisite for attendance at these courses.
To determine the baseline laparoscopic knowledge of attendees at an advanced laparoscopic surgical course.
A.17-question examination was designed using data from the basic laparoscopic quizzes on the Society of American Gastrointestinal Surgeons (SAGES) website (http://www.sages.org/education/quiz). The questions covered 4 realms of basic laparoscopy: access, pneumoperitoneum, camera navigation, and surgical instrumentation. The questionnaire was distributed to all attendees at an advanced laparoscopic course at the 2009 Canadian Surgical Forum organized by the Canadian Association of General Surgeons.
Forty-three respondents completed the survey. Fifty-three percent (53%) of responders had been in practice for more than 10 years and 65% had over 5 years experience. Fifty-five percent (55%) [24/43] of respondents listed laparoscopic courses as the sole means of laparoscopic training. Sixty-one percent (61%) [28/43] were performing > 50 laparoscopic cases per year. The median score on the knowledge-based questions was 70.6% [12/17]. In terms of overall score, respondents with more than 5 years experience performed similarly to respondents with less than 5 years experience (73% correct answers). Interestingly, in a subgroup analysis, respondents performed well in camera skills and pneumoperitoneum-themed questions (84% correct answers) but performed poorly on questions pertaining to instrumentation or access (52% correct answers).
Basic laparoscopic knowledge among the attendees of an advanced laparoscopic course is suboptimal. A review of basic principles of laparoscopy particularly pertaining to instrumentation and access should form part of these CME activities.
The aim of the study is to determine the incidence, demographic risk factors, and outcomes of critical illness among all adult status Aboriginal Canadians (SACs) admitted to intensive care units (ICUs).
A population-based cohort was conducted among adult residents of the Calgary Health Region admitted to ICUs between May 1999 and April 2002. Patients were classified as SAC based on an alternate premium arrangement field within their Alberta personal health number.
The annual incidence of critical illness among SACs of 620.6 per 100,000 was significantly higher than the non-SAC population of 302.6 per 100,000 (RR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.78-2.35); this was due to a 3-fold higher admission rate to the multisystem ICUs among SAC (579.6 per 100,000/y) as compared with non-SAC patients (210.7 per 100,000/y; RR, 2.75; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.37-3.17). The highest risk for ICU admission among SAC patients was observed in those aged 20 to 49 years, and the incidence was higher in males than females (772.3 vs 479.8 per 100,000/y; RR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.21-2.14). Although the in-hospital case-fatality rate was only slightly higher among SAC (18%, 38/212) as compared with non-SAC patients (922/7,159; 13%; RR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.04-1.87), the annual mortality rate was much higher (146.4 per 100,000 for SAC vs 60.9 per 100,000 for non-SAC; RR, 2.40; 95% CI, 1.78-3.19).
This study demonstrates that SACs have an increased burden of critical illness as compared with the general non-SAC population and supports further research aimed at exploring means to reduce its adverse impact in this population.
Aboriginal Canadians are considered to be at increased risk of major trauma. However, population-based studies characterizing the distribution, determinants and outcomes of major trauma in this group are lacking. We sought to measure the impact of ethnicity, as reflected by Aboriginal status, on the incidence of severe trauma and to broadly define the epidemiologic characteristics of severe trauma among status Aboriginal Canadians in a large health region.
This population-based, observational study involves all adults (people > or = 16 years) resident in the Calgary Health Region between Apr. 1, 1999, and Mar. 31, 2002. Stratification of the population into status Aboriginal Canadians and the reference population was performed by Alberta Health and Wellness using an alternate premium arrangement field within the personal health care number. Injury incidence was determined by identifying all injuries with severity scores of 12 or greater in the Alberta Trauma Registry, regional corporate data and the Office of the Medical Examiner.
Aboriginal Canadians were at much higher risk than the reference population in the Calgary Health Region of sustaining severe trauma (257.2 v. 68.8 per 100,000; relative risk [RR] 3.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.0-4.6). Aboriginal Canadians were found to be at significantly increased risk of injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes (RR 4.8, 95% CI 3.5-6.5), assault (RR 11.1, 95% CI 6.2-18.6) and traumatic suicide (RR 3.1, 95% CI 1.4-6.1). A trend toward higher median injury severity scores was observed among Aboriginal Canadians (21 v. 18, p = 0.09). Although the case-fatality rate among Aboriginal Canadians was less than half that in the reference population (14/93 [15%] v. 531/1686 [31%], p
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Protracted, multi-year wait times exist for bariatric care in Canada. Our objective was to examine wait-listed patients' health status and perceptions regarding the consequences of prolonged wait times using a cross-sectional study design nested within a prospective cohort.
150 consecutive consenting subjects wait-listed for multi-disciplinary bariatric assessment in a population-based medical/surgical bariatric program were surveyed. Health status was measured using a visual analogue scale (VAS). A Waiting List Impact Questionnaire (WLIQ) examined employment, physical stress, social support, frustration, quality of life, and satisfaction with care. Multivariable linear regression analysis adjusted for age, sex and BMI identified independent predictors of lower VAS scores.
136 (91%) subjects were women, mean age was 43?years (SD 9), mean BMI was 49.4 (SD 8.3) kg/m2 and average time wait-listed was 64?days (SD 76). The mean VAS score was 53/100 (SD 22). According to the WLIQ, 47% of subjects agreed/strongly agreed that waiting affected their quality of life, 65% described wait times as 'concerning' and 81% as 'frustrating'. 86% reported worsening of physical symptoms over time. Nevertheless, only 31% were dissatisfied/very dissatisfied with their overall medical care. Independent predictors of lower VAS scores were higher BMI (beta coefficient 0.42; p?=?0.03), unemployment (13.7; p?=?0.01) and depression (10.3; p?=?0.003).
Patients wait-listed for bariatric care self-reported very impaired health status and other adverse consequences, attributing these to protracted waits. These data may help benchmark the level of health impairment in this population, understand the physical and mental toll of waiting, and assist with wait list management.
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Within the last decade, several authors have proposed laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) as a potential definitive treatment for morbid obesity. While initially perceived as being a solely restrictive procedure, it is now theorized to have additional hormonal effects (primarily the reduction of circulating levels of plasma ghrelin). However, there is limited supporting evidence for this claim. Therefore, the purpose of our study is to conduct a systematic review of the literature to clarify the effects of LSG on modulation of postoperative ghrelin concentrations. A comprehensive literature search for published or unpublished studies of sleeve gastrectomy (SG) and ghrelin written in English prior to February 2013 was performed using Pubmed, EMBASE, the Cochrane database, and Scopus. Gray literature was also searched through Google. Inclusion criteria for searches were: randomized controlled trials, non-randomized clinical trials, retrospective and prospective cohort studies, or case series. Seven studies were deemed suitable for analysis. The mean patient age was 43?±?8.8 years and female percentage was 74.4?±?15.3 %. The mean initial BMI was 46.2?±?7.8 and mean follow-up time was 9.5?±?15 months. The mean postoperative BMI was 37.3?±?5.8 over the same follow-up period. Pooled mean preoperative ghrelin levels were 698.4?±?312.4 pg/ml and postoperative levels were 414.1?±?226.3 pg/ml (P?
Obesity rates have reached epidemic levels with over 300 million obese individuals worldwide. Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) as a primarily restrictive bariatric surgical procedure has been shown to be effective in producing marked weight loss. However, LSG-associated gastric leakage and hemorrhages remain the most important challenges postoperatively. Staple line buttress reinforcement has been suggested to reduce these postoperative complications. Our objective was to assess staple line buttress reinforcement via the Duet™ tissue reinforcement stapler system in morbidly obese patients undergoing LSG as part of a comprehensive weight management strategy, focusing on postoperative complications.
Between January 2008 and April 2011, we retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 116 consecutive patients that underwent LSG with staple line buttress reinforcement at an academic teaching hospital with advanced bariatric fellowship.
The mean age of patients was 44.3?±?9.5 years, with mean preoperative BMI of 44?±?7 kg/m2. The mean operative time to perform LSG was 96?±?25 min. Postoperative weight was significantly lower following LSG at 1-year follow-up compared to baseline (104?±?25 vs. 125?±?27 kg, P?
Obesity has become a major health concern in Canada. This has resulted in a steady rise in the number of bariatric surgical procedures being performed nationwide. The laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB) is not only the most common bariatric procedure, but also the gold standard to which all others are compared. With this in mind, it is imperative that all gastrointestinal surgeons understand the LRYGB and have a working knowledge of the common postoperative complications and their management. Early postoperative complications following LRYGB that demand immediate recognition include anastomotic or staple line leak, postoperative hemorrhage, bowel obstruction and incorrect Roux limb reconstructions. Later complications may be challenging to differentiate from other gastrointestinal disorders and include anastomotic stricture, marginal ulceration, fistula formation, weight gain and nutritional deficiencies. We discuss the principles involved in the management of each complication and the timing of referral to specialist bariatric centres.
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The number of Canadians who self-refer for bariatric surgery outside of Canada or to private clinics within Canada remains undefined. The outcomes from this questionable practice have not been evaluated systematically to date.
We completed a chart review of known cases referred to our center for complications related to medical tourism and bariatric surgery.
We present a series of patients who have experienced complications because of medical tourism for bariatric surgery and required urgent surgical management at a tertiary care center within Canada. Complications have resulted from 3 commonly used procedures: adjustable gastric banding, gastric sleeve resection, and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.
Because of this review, we propose that a medical tourism approach to the surgical management of obesity-a chronic disease-is inappropriate and raises clear ethical and moral issues.