Bariatric surgery may not be cost-effective in the long run
Bariatric surgery is known to improve patients’ health in the long term, but a new study finds that the surgery may not be cost-effective in the long run. Looking at data from nearly 10,000 predominantly male patients — about 2,500 of whom underwent bariatric surgery — researchers found that the mean total expenditure in the six months following surgery was nearly $7,500. At the 10-year mark, it increased to about $8,500. Compared to the non-surgery cohort, those who underwent surgery had higher health spending in the three years before and the two years after surgery, although the two groups’ spending converged at five and 10 years after surgery. Bariatric surgery’s value may primarily lie in its health — and not cost — benefits, the authors conclude.