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Invited Critique
July 2012

Questioning the Economics of Bariatric SurgeryComment on “Health Expenditures Among High-Risk Patients After Gastric Bypass and Matched Controls”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Surgery, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California.

Arch Surg. 2012;147(7):640-641. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2012.1021

Surgeons use risk-benefit analysis in our decisions to operate on specific patients. Rarely do we consider the economic implication, instead using the assumption that an individual would want enhanced quantity or quality of life, regardless of cost. This decision-making process is further supported by a separation of those who receive the benefit and those who pay the bill. However, when surgeons want to justify a new procedure or piece of equipment, economic benefit is often argued. Those contemplating paying for the procedure will balance expense with the improvement of quantity or quality of life for the insured.

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