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Published outcomes data shows safety of surgery
For the second year running, consultant bariatric surgeons in England have published outcomes data that has demonstrated the safety of bariatric surgery in the country. Figures released by the National Bariatric Surgical Registry (NBSR) on behalf of British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society (BOMSS) revealed that over the years 2012-14, there were seven recorded deaths giving an in-hospital mortality rate of 0.07% equivalent to a survival rate of 99.93%.
The publication of the data follows ‘The Everyone Counts: Planning for Patients 2013/14’ document of the NHS Commissioning Board published in December 2012 called for the publication of surgeon-level outcomes data for ten specialities by the end of June 2013. This was first published in July 2013. The latest data can be accessed here
For the years 2012-14, the average BMI of patients was 50.2 and the average weight was 139.7kg, twice the ideal weight for their height. Most (73.5%) patients were female and the average number of obesity-related diseases for each patient, for example Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnoea, functional impairment and arthritis was 3.71.
“It remains important to emphasise to patients that bariatric surgery is one episode in the lifelong chronic disease of obesity,” said Mr Richard Welbourn, the president of BOMSS. “All NHS surgeons work in well-developed multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) dedicated to the care of patients with severe and complex obesity. Our preference was to present outcomes data from units, since it is units that are commissioned to deliver services to patients, not individual surgeons.”
For the financial year 2013-14, the total number of primary operations recorded was 5,419, with 2.6 days the average length of hospital stay for all operations.
This year, patients will be able to search for hospitals by geography using an added map function and postcode. Again, for this year the dedicated website shows overall operation volumes for each hospital as well as for each surgeon, making the data a more accurate reflection of the whole process of care.
An additional outcome has been published this year – that of revision surgery. Surgeons with higher volumes of revision surgery may be referred these patients from other centres due to their expertise. As this type of revision surgery carries higher risk due to scarring of the tissues, it is important to be able to characterise these patients separately from patients having primary procedures.
“We expect that patients will be able to use the data presented in the surgeon graphs to facilitate their consultations with the local bariatric team and help them make informed decisions about surgery,” added Welbourn.