Background: Obesity surgery is expanding, the quality of care is ever more important, and learning curve assessment should be established. A large registry cohort can show long-term effects on obesity and its comorbidities, complications, and long-term side effects of surgery, as well as changes in health-related quality of life (QoL). Sweden is ideally suited to the task of data collection and audit, with universal use of personal identification numbers, nation-wide registries permitting cross-matching to analyze causes of death, in-hospital care, and health-related absenteeism.
Method: In 2004, the Scandinavian Obesity Surgery Registry (SOReg) was initiated and government financing secured. A project group created a national database covering all public as well as private hospitals. Data entry was to be made online, operative definitions of comorbidity were formed, and complication severity scored. Several forms of audit were devised.
Results: After pilot studies, the system has been running in its present form since 2007. Since 15 January 2013, SOReg covers all bariatric surgery centers in Sweden. The number of operations in the database exceeded 40,000 (March 2014), with a median follow-up of 2.94 years. Audit shows that >98% of data are correct. All results are publicized annually on the Internet.
Comments: Using this systematic approach, it has been possible to cover >99% of all bariatric surgery, cross-matching our data with nation-wide registries for in-hospital care, cause of death, and permitting regular nation-wide audit. Several scientific studies have used, or are using, what seems to be the most comprehensive database in obesity surgery.