Gastric Bypass Program Named Center of Excellence

(May 28, 2008) – Memorial University Medical Center’s bariatric surgery program has been named a Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

Memorial Health Bariatrics is a comprehensive surgical weight loss, education, and support program for people who are morbidly obese. To earn the Center of Excellence designation, Memorial Health Bariatrics went through a series of site inspections in which its surgical processes were closely examined. Memorial Health Bariatrics also submitted data on its health outcomes.

The ASMBS Centers of Excellence program was created after clinical evidence showed that the most experienced and best-run bariatric surgery programs have the lowest complication rates. The program recognizes facilities that perform well and encourages surgeons and hospitals to constantly improve the quality and safety of the care they provide.

“This is a prestigious designation and we’re very proud. Morbid obesity is a serious health threat in our society, and bariatric surgery can have a profound impact on the health and quality of life of these patients. It’s a great honor to be recognized as a facility that provides the highest level of care,” said John D. Angstadt, bariatric surgeon and medical director Memorial Health Bariatrics.

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 in 2005.
The ASMBS is the largest society for this specialty in the world. Founded in 1983, the purpose of the society is to advance the art and science of bariatric surgery.

Memorial University Medical Center is a two-state healthcare organization serving a 35-county area in southeast Georgia and southern South Carolina. The system includes its flagship hospital, a 530-bed tertiary medical center; Memorial primary and specialty care physician networks; a major medical education program; business and industry services; and NurseOne, a 24-hour call center. Memorial University Medical Center has been named a Distinguished Hospital by J.D. Power and Associates four years in a row for providing an outstanding patient experience.