Since 2000, the annual number of bariatric procedures has increased more than 10-fold in Sweden, and in 2012, 94% of these procedures were primary laparoscopic gastric bypass.
We studied claims from the national Patient Insurance (Landstingens Ömsesidiga Försäkringsbolag, LÖF) to evaluate if the number of adverse events (AEs) from a patient perspective had increased unproportionally. All claims related to bariatric surgery from January 2000 to March 2012 were identified by ICD-10 codes and divided into 3 main groups: (1) procedure-related AEs (occurring within 30 days), (2) late AEs, and (3) nonsurgical AEs. Logistic regression was used to study the change in claim rate over time. The setting was a university hospital in Sweden.
In total, 359 claims were included, corresponding to 14 claims per 1,000 bariatric procedures (laparoscopic 59%, open 24%, revision 17%). Numbers correlated with the expansion of bariatric surgery and type of procedure routinely performed. Of the procedure-related claims (74% of all claims), postoperative leaks or bleedings were most common. In this group, patients frequently needed additional surgery (69%) and intensive care (42%). Half of the late AEs (69 in total) were related to abdominal pain or malnutrition, including 5 cases of Wernicke's encephalopathy. In total 2% died. Of 344 settled claims, economical compensation was given to 29%.
In this cohort of patients with insurance claims after bariatric surgery (1.4% of all procedures), procedure-related AEs were severe, with a large amount of patients requiring reoperation and intensive care. No change in claim rate was seen, in spite of the 10-fold increase of bariatric surgery.
2015. Vol. 11, no 1, 201-206 p.