INTRODUCTION. Obesity is a growing public health problem and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality risk for affected individuals. Bariatric surgery is recommended for severely obese patients when conservative treatments fail.

OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study is to compare the surgical trends over time, complication rates, disability durations, and medical costs between the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), adjustable gastric band (lap-band), sleeve gastrectomy, and duodenal switch bariatric surgical procedures.

METHODS. Using a nationwide dataset of short-term disability (STD) cases linked to detailed medical claims data, we evaluated 9,301 STD cases with a primary diagnosis of morbid obesity that had one of the four surgeries evaluated in this study (n=7,908). We evaluated trends in bariatric surgery procedures through time and compared complication rates, disability rates, disability duration, and medical costs between four common procedures.

RESULTS. The prevalence of RYGB and lap band procedures declined, while the prevalence of sleeve gastrectomy procedures increased over this timeframe. By surgery, the complication rates, disability durations, and medical costs ranked as follows (lowest to highest): lap band, sleeve gastrectomy, RYGB, and duodenal switch.

CONCLUSION. The sleeve gastrectomy procedure resulted in fewer complications, faster healing times, and reduced medical costs. These trends may be driving the increasing percentage of obese patients receiving the sleeve gastrectomy procedure compared to the lap band, RYGB, or duodenal switch procedures.

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