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Weight loss surgery patients can expect fewer complications and lower costs for obesity surgery, reported a new study by the Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) Agency for Health care Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Between 2002 and 2006 the average rate of post-surgical and other complications from weight loss surgery declined 21 percent, according to an AHRQ study published in the May 2009 edition of Medical Care. Hospital payments also dropped by 13 percent during that time period.

“This is good news for obesity surgery patients,” said Dr. Stephen Boyce, surgeon and medical director of the Covenant Weight Management Center. “Thanks to less invasive surgical procedures and increased surgeon experience, we are seeing fewer complications.”

The post-surgical infection rate has dropped 58 percent, the study reported. Complications such as staple leakage, respiratory failure and pneumonia decreased by between 50 percent and 29 percent.

In 2008, Tennessee ranked sixth in obesity nationally with 29 percent of the population considered obese, according to a study by Trust for America’s Health.

“Hopefully this study will encourage people in our community to explore their weight loss options,” Boyce said.

The Covenant Weight Management Center offers two weight loss options: the medically supervised diet and exercise program and advanced weight loss surgery performed at Parkwest Medical Center, a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence. Free seminars on weight loss surgery are held monthly in Knox, Anderson and Sevier Counties. For information, call us today!

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