Gastric band: Cost effective?

      Obesity is a disease highly associated with other pathologies, leading to an increased mortality. Losing weight has proven to be an effective way of reducing comorbidities and consequently mortality. Among the measures applied in this sense we find surgical options like gastric band (GB). This treatment has been recently stopped in our hospital due to financial constraints. Our aim is to determine the success rates of GB in reducing weight and its superiority when compared to hygiene — dietetic measures in the population of an obesity's consultation (OC) in a district hospital. We present a retrospective study in which all patients who attended the OC since 2008 were included. Our results demonstrated the expected superiority of GB in reducing weight and obesity's comorbidities both in Grade II and Grade III of obesity. We can thereby conclude that GB is an effective measure to reduce morbidity and mortality, reducing at the same time the treatment costs of associated diseases. Therefore the investment made will, in a long term perspective, reduce the expenses. On the other hand the low incidence of severe complications observed clearly states the safety of the surgical treatment. In this context it is legitimate to question whether this therapeutic approach will actually lead to a reduction of costs, or whether it will lead to more future spending, not forgetting the wellbeing of patients who could benefit from GB.
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