February 15, 2023

Use of telemedicine to preoperatively evaluate bariatric surgery patients

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

This study from the University of Pittsburgh finds that telemedicine can be used safely and effectively for bariatric surgical patients’ preoperative care.

A total of 1,182 patients (telemedicine visit group, 257 vs in-person visit controls, 925) were included in the analysis.

The telemedicine group was found to be noninferior to the control group with respect to:

  • operating room delay (7.8 vs 4.2 minutes)
  • procedure duration (134.4 vs105.3 minutes)
  • length of stay (1.9 vs 2.1 days)
  • major adverse events within 30 days (3.8% vs 1.6%)
  • major adverse events between 31 and 60 days (2.2% vs 1.6%)
  • frequency of emergency department visits (18.8% vs 17.9%)
  • hospital readmissions (10.1% vs 6.6%).

The advantages of telemedicine in terms of patient cost and time savings may facilitate accessibility to bariatric surgical procedures, especially for the underserved, the researchers say. Implementation may also be beneficial in other surgical fields.

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