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Press Releases

Holy Name Medical Center Receives Accreditation For Bariatric Surgery Program

Date: 3/27/2013

Rigorous survey process ensures quality and safety

After completing a comprehensive review of Holy Name Medical Center and the services and facilities associated with its surgical weight loss program, the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) has approved Holy Name as an American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence® (BSCOE).

BSCOE accreditation ensures the quality, safety and efficacy of bariatric patient care. Facilities with BSCOE approval support best practices for the treatment of morbid obesity and its associated conditions, by offering a broad spectrum of treatment, education and support services.

The American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery's inspection is comprehensive and rigorous. It encompasses meetings with management from a variety of disciplines within the hospital, a review of required documentation and medical charts, an operating room tour, and interviews with staff.

Facilities that achieve accreditation must demonstrate compliance across a broad spectrum:
  • Institutional commitment to maintaining excellence in bariatric surgery, including such aspects as administrative support and board-certified bariatric surgeons
  • Satisfactory levels of surgical experience and patient volume
  • A dedicated bariatric surgery medical director and an organized bariatric team, including a bariatric program coordinator
  • Appropriate equipment, instruments and furniture suitable for the morbidly obese patient, allowing for appropriate treatment, personal comfort and a sense of dignity
  • Bariatric policies and clinical pathways to provide standards of care and positive outcomes
  • Facility-wide in-services to ensure a basic understanding of bariatric surgery and appropriate management and care
  • Patient support groups
  • Long-term patient follow-up
According to Holy Name's Sheryl Slonim, DNP, RN-BC, NEA-BC, Executive Vice President, Patient Care Services, and Chief Nursing Officer. the success of bariatric surgery has as much to do with education, support and follow-up, as it does with the actual surgical procedure.  "Holy Name holds free monthly seminars about surgical options, risks and benefits," she says, "and we conduct an extensive screening process with a bariatric surgeon, registered dietitian and a psychologist to determine eligibility for bariatric surgery."

Dr. Slonim notes that pre- and postoperative support is essential to patient well-being and recovery. She says that by emphasizing post-op healing, lap-band adjustments, individualized nutrition and psychotherapeutic sessions, "we help to prevent side effects and complications, and promote successful long-term outcomes."

"Holy Name Medical Center's efforts help support a culture where we are prepared to manage morbidly obese patients with understanding and compassion," says Dr. Slonim, "and with appreciation for the burdens presented by disease comorbidities."

For hospitals, benefits of accreditation include recognition by The Joint Commission's quality check web site, participation in accreditation-based quality improvement initiatives, and the opportunity to contribute to health systems improvement and the advancement of field knowledge with surgical outcomes and patient trends.

Background On Morbid Obesity And Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is a treatment option for people living with morbid obesity—especially for those who have not experienced long-term weight loss success through other means. Obesity is a chronic disease with symptoms that build slowly over an extended period of time.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines morbid obesity as:
  • 100 or more pounds over ideal body weight, or
  • Body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater, or
  • BMI of 35 or greater and an obesity-related condition, such as type 2 diabetes, acid reflux/GERD, heart disease, osteoarthritis and joint pain, high blood pressure, or obstructive sleep apnea
According to data from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 35.7% of Americans are obese. The National Center for Biotechnology Information, a division of the National Institutes of Health, reports that about 113,000 people in the US have bariatric surgery every year.

Often referred to as weight loss surgery, bariatric surgery has transformed the health and lives of many.  At Holy Name Medical Center, patients benefit from services that treat the whole person, encouraging lifestyle improvements and giving support before and after surgery. The program is composed of a dedicated multidisciplinary team that provides the highest level of patient care to deliver positive outcomes, with bariatric surgeons who have specialized expertise in obesity and related diseases, and in performing advanced surgical techniques.

Types of Bariatric Surgery

A patient must meet the NIH criteria for obesity to qualify as a surgical candidate, and have at least one related comorbid condition or, for the adjustable gastric band, a body mass index (BMI) > 30.

Holy Name Medical Center offers three surgical approaches to weight loss:
  • Gastric banding is a restrictive surgical procedure. A band is placed around the upper part of the stomach to create a small pouch, about the size of an egg.  The adjustable gastric band limits the amount a patient can eat at one time to about half a cup. By slowing the flow of food out of the stomach, patients feel full sooner and stay satisfied longer.  Over time, surgeons adjust the tightness of the band to help patients meet weight loss goals.
  • Gastric bypass (Roux en-Y) surgery uses a combination of restriction and malabsorption. The surgeon creates a smaller stomach pouch. The surgeon then attaches a Y-shaped section of the small intestine directly to the pouch, causing food to bypass a large portion of the small intestine. The smaller stomach pouch causes patients to feel fuller sooner and eat less food.
  • Sleeve gastrectomy is a restrictive surgical procedure. The surgeon removes approximately 75% of the stomach, leaving a narrow sleeve-like stomach that limits the amount of food a patient can eat at one time, while producing a full feeling that lasts longer.  Food passes through the digestive tract in the usual order, allowing it to be fully absorbed.
To sign up for a patient information seminar or for a referral to a Holy Name bariatric surgeon, call 1-877-HOLY-NAME (1-877-465-9526). For general information about the Bariatric Surgery Program at Holy Name Medical Center, call 201-833-7043.