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The Incidence of Bariatric Surgery has Plateaued in the U.S.

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Edward Livingston, author in American Journal of Surgery, wrote “The Incidence of Bariatric Surgery has Plateaued in the U.S.” in 2010 considering the rates of gastric surgeries in America. Livingston states that while open surgery is on average $4,800 less than laparoscopic surgery, only 3% of gastric surgeries are open; however, the cost difference does not consider additional complication costs, longer hospital stays, and higher mortality rates. Laparoscopic bypass surgery represents 40% of the cases, while gastric banding represents 37% with equal costs. Although the surgeries were predicted to increase due to decreased complication rates, the number of surgeries has stayed fairly level since 2003.

            The American Journal of Surgery is a prestigious medical journal, which is the official publication of journal for seven major surgical societies including the Midwest Surgical Association and The Association for Surgical Education. The audience is surgeons of all types (heart, head, abdominal, etc.) seeking credible sources of information regarding research, studies, and reports. Dr. Edward Livingston is the Chairman of the GI Endocrine Surgery Division at Southwestern Medical Center, as well as a contributing editor to the American Journal of Surgery.

             Dr. Livingston’s article has substantial credibility and support from several medical associations and a peer-reviewed, well-known medical journal. The article is thoroughly supported by numerous data points and extensive research, as well as appropriate for its intended audience. It provides adequate focus for its topic of gastric surgery rates and gives a satisfactory conclusion. Although it conclusively states that the rates have stated relatively level, it does not provide information as to why. The article will be useful to infer the causes for this plateau, likely resulting from the limited amount of doctors performing the surgery and the financial burden.

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