Laparoscopic abdominal surgery for the diagnosis and treatment of gall bladder disease, bariatric weight loss surgery, and the use of a biopsy capsule passed through an intestinal tube are all less invasive, safer, much less costly, and very effective means of diagnosing small bowel disease, as compared with open abdominal surgery.
The frequency of colonoscopy for cancer screening, especially in patients over the age of 80, is often unnecessary, costly, and carries with it the risk of bowel perforation. Colorectal cancer has been reported to be reduced in patients who take aspirin and vitamin B6, which also saves costs.
Each year in the United States, 20,000 new cases of liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) are diagnosed. This is directly related to infection with the Hepatitis B or C viruses. Prevention of HBV (Hepatitis B virus) by vaccination of newborns and high-risk patients significantly reduces the incidence of liver cancer, thereby decreasing overall medical expenditures.
The treatment of Clostridium difficile diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome with rifaximin (Xifaxan®) has decreased hospital stays and associated costs. Irritable bowel symptoms also have been reported to be decreased by increased physical activity. Crohn's disease of the small and large intestines can be treated with infliximab (Remicade®), thereby resulting in shorter, less expensive hospital stays. Hepatic encephalopathy treatment with rifaximin also has shortened hospital stay and costs.
J Community Health. 2012;37(4):888-896. © 2012 Springer
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