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April 10, 2013

Bariatric surgery program honored with national accreditation

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The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has re-accredited University of Virginia Health System’s bariatric surgery program as a Level 1 Bariatric Surgery Center, the accreditation group’s highest rating.

“Level 1 centers are hospitals that have demonstrated they have the capacity to manage and have committed resources to provide complete bariatric surgical care,” according to the ACS website. “These hospitals have high-volume practices and can manage the most challenging and complex patients.”

Accreditation follows a site visit by ACS surveyors, said UVA bariatric surgeon Bruce D. Schirmer, MD . “Site reviews are conducted by practicing bariatric surgeons, so institutions are held to the highest standards,” he said.

Accredited bariatric surgery centers must meet the ACS criteria for providing quality care, including:

Board-certified bariatric surgeons Use of evidence-based guidelines to care for patients An established quality improvement program Having performed at least 125 bariatric surgeries in the previous 12 months

“This designation represents our commitment to a team approach for the care of bariatric surgery patients,” said Peter T. Hallowell, MD, FACS , director of bariatric surgery at UVA.

UVA’s team of specially trained surgeons, nurses, nutritionists and psychologists provide patients with comprehensive care, including gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and gastric banding surgical procedures. More than 2,000 patients have had weight loss surgery at UVA since 1986.

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