Optimizing Hospital Resource Utilization in Bariatric Readmission

Jerome R. Lyn-Sue, Justin A. Doble, Ryan M. Juza, Vamsi V. Alli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objectives: The prevalence of patients with a history of bariatric surgery is climbing. Medical and surgical questions arising in this patient population may prompt them to present to the nearest emergency department (ED), irrespective of that facility's experience with bariatric surgery. The emergency physician is the first to evaluate patients with a history of bariatric surgery who present with abdominal symptoms. As a quality improvement project aimed at reducing resource utilization, we sought to determine which patients presenting to the ED could be treated in an outpatient setting in lieu of hospital admission.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of bariatric patients admitted from our ED with abdominal symptoms, including abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, dysphagia, obstruction, and hematemesis. We collected the following variables: type of bariatric operation, admission and discharge diagnoses, and all interventions performed during admission.

Results: One hundred sixty-nine patients (76.1%) had a history of laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. The time from bariatric operation to presentation averaged 42 ± 4.63 (SD) months. The most common symptom was abdominal pain (80.2%). Ninety-four percent of patients underwent invasive management via upper endoscopy, laparoscopy, or laparotomy. The most common postprocedural diagnoses were stricture, bowel obstruction, inflammatory findings, and cholecystitis.

Conclusion: Most patient encounters resulted in invasive management (204/282; 72.3%). The subset of these patients requiring endoscopic evaluation or therapy (37.7%) may be suitable for outpatient management if appropriate measures are available for rapid follow-up and procedural scheduling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJSLS : Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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