Variations in bariatric surgical care pathways: a national costing study on the variability of services and impact on costs

BMC Obes. 2018 Dec 26:5:43. doi: 10.1186/s40608-018-0223-3. eCollection 2018.


Background: We undertook a survey of all bariatric centres in Scotland in order to describe current pre- and post-operative care, to estimate their costs and explore differences in financial impact.

Methods: A questionnaire was distributed to each health centre. Descriptive statistics were used to present average cost per patient along with 95% confidence intervals, and the range of costs.

Results: Results show nearly a five-fold difference in costs per patient for pre-operative services (range £226 - £1071) and more than a three-fold difference for post-operative services (range £259 - £896).

Conclusions: There is a lack of evidence base and a clear requirement for the evaluation of bariatric surgical services to identify the care pathways pre- and post-surgery which lead to largest improvements in health outcomes and remain cost-effective.

Keywords: Bariatric surgery; Care pathways; Costing study.