Cost-effectiveness of bariatric surgery for severely obese adults with diabetes

Thomas J. Hoerger, Ping Zhang, Joel E. Segel, Henry S. Kahn, Lawrence E. Barker, Steven Couper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE- To analyze the cost-effectiveness of bariatric surgery in severely obese (BMI ≥35 kg/m2) adults who have diabetes, using a validated diabetes cost-effectiveness model. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS- We expanded the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-RTI Diabetes Cost-Effectiveness Model to incorporate bariatric surgery. In this simulation model, bariatric surgery may lead to diabetes remission and reductions in other risk factors, which then lead to fewer diabetes complications and increased quality of life (QoL). Surgery is also associated with perioperative mortality and subsequent complications, and patients in remission may relapse to diabetes. We separately estimate the costs, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), and cost-effectiveness of gastric bypass surgery relative to usual diabetes care and of gastric banding surgery relative to usual diabetes care. We examine the cost-effectiveness of each type of surgery for severely obese individuals who are newly diagnosed with diabetes and for severely obese individuals with established diabetes. RESULTS- In all analyses, bariatric surgery increased QALYs and increased costs. Bypass surgery had cost-effectiveness ratios of $7,000/QALY and $12,000/QALY for severely obese patients with newly diagnosed and established diabetes, respectively. Banding surgery had cost-effectiveness ratios of $11,000/QALY and $13,000/QALY for the respective groups. In sensitivity analyses, the cost-effectiveness ratios were most affected by assumptions about the direct gain in QoL from BMI loss following surgery. CONCLUSIONS- Our analysis indicates that gastric bypass and gastric banding are costeffective methods of reducing mortality and diabetes complications in severely obese adults with diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1933-1939
Number of pages7
JournalDiabetes care
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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