Background: Outcomes of bariatric surgery have been linked to institutional case volume. The objective of our study was to compare outcome of laparoscopic Roux-en-y gastric bypass (RYGB) in 2 settings: a low-volume Veterans Affairs (VA) and a high-volume university hospital (UH). Methods: Over a period of 27 months, 140 patients underwent RYGB (137 laparoscopic, 3 open) performed by 1 surgeon. Fifty-five were performed at a VA and 85 at a UH with an annual caseload close to 300. Results: The body mass index in both groups was similar, but patients at the VA were older, mostly men, and more likely to have hypertension (HTN), obstructive sleep apnea, and diabetes mellitus (DM). Operative and anesthesia times were significantly longer at the VA. There were no differences in 30-day mortality (none), major morbidity, conversion rates, or reoperation rates. Conclusion: Laparoscopic RYGB can be performed safely at a VA facility despite a higher risk population and low annual volume. © 2005 Excerpta Medica Inc. All rights reserved.
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