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Temple University Hospital Recognized for High-Quality Care in Bariatric Surgery

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Designates Temple University Hospital as a Center of Excellence

(Philadelphia, PA) – Temple University Hospital (TUH) has been named an American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Center of Excellence. The ASMBS Center of Excellence designation recognizes surgical programs with a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes in bariatric surgery.

“Due to the increasing prevalence of morbid obesity and the inherent health risks in this patient population, there is a real need for this kind of surgery in 2007 and we are proud to be able to provide excellent surgical care in this evolving field to our patients,” said John Meilahn, MD, Director of Bariatric Surgery at TUH. “We believe that the ASMBS Centers of Excellence program will serve as a catalyst, driving strong programs like ours to get even better. We want to continue to provide the highest quality of care for our patients in this emerging arena of surgery.”

According to a report released in 2007 by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the number of bariatric surgeries has grown from 16,000 procedures performed in 1992 to 170,000 performed in 2005. Faced with clinical evidence that the most experienced and best-run bariatric surgery programs have by far the lowest rates of complications, the ASMBS Centers of Excellence program was created to recognize bariatric surgery centers that perform well and to help surgeons and hospitals continue to improve the quality and safety of care provided.

To earn a Center of Excellence designation, TUH underwent a series of site inspections during which all aspects of the program’s surgical processes were closely examined and data on health outcomes was collected. TUH and other centers receiving the Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence designation agree to continue to share information on clinical pathways, protocols and outcomes data.

Surgical Review Corporation (SRC), an organization dedicated to pursuing surgical excellence, formulates and establishes the rigorous standards with which TUH and other centers of excellence must comply, thoroughly inspecting and evaluating each candidate for designation. Upon review, the SRC recommends approval of the designation for those surgeons and facilities whose practices and outcomes meet the stringent demands set forth by SRC for ASMBS.

Facts About Obesity & Bariatric Surgery:
Obesity has become a significant national health issue, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting that 66% of all U.S. adults are overweight or obese. Morbid obesity is closely correlated with a number of serious conditions that severely undermine the health of overweight patients, including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Studies demonstrate that only 5% of morbidly obese patients can achieve long-term weight loss using diet and exercise alone.

Bariatric surgery can help obese patients manage or resolve these conditions. Studies have demonstrated that bariatric surgical procedures are able to provide sustained weight loss for the morbidly obese. Surgeons with ASMBS Center of Excellence designations have shown long-term consistently excellent outcomes from bariatric surgery.

  • Patients considered morbidly obese (having a body mass index greater than 40) or those with co-morbidities (with a body mass index over 35) are candidates for bariatric surgery.
  • Bariatric Surgery is most effective when paired with lifestyle changes in diet and exercise. Patients are encouraged to deal with emotional and psychological issues that may have contributed to their condition.
  • According to the National Institutes of Health, bariatric surgery is the only long-term effective therapy for morbid obesity and its complications. A variety of surgical procedures can provide significant resolution of many co-morbidities, such as diabetes, asthma, hypertension, sleep apnea, hypertriglyceridemia, cardiopulmonary failure, infertility and stress incontinence.
  • While complications are possible in any surgery, the rate of complications from surgery performed at an ASMBS Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence is low. Excellent outcomes are possible with preoperative evaluation and preparation, careful surgical technique, and ongoing postoperative follow-up.

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For more information about The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, visit:

For more information about Surgical Review Corporation, visit: www.surgicalreview.org

Date Published: Monday, March 3, 2008