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American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Designates Saint Clare's Center for Weight Loss Surgery as a Center of Excellence


05/27/2008

Dover-Based Center Recognized for Favorable Outcomes in Bariatric Surgery

Proving to be a leader in the weight loss surgery community, Saint Clare’s Health System announced today that The Center for Weight Loss Surgery, located at Saint Clare’s Hospital/Dover, has been named an American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence®. The ASMBS Center of Excellence designation recognizes surgical programs and surgeons with a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes in bariatric surgery.  The Center for Weight Loss Surgery received this award after an extensive review of the program’s surgical processes and health outcomes.  

Dr. Alexander Abkin and Dr. Nicholas Bertha, Co-Medical Directors of the Center for Weight Loss Surgery, as well as Dr. Edward Pucci and Dr. Richard Pucci, have also been awarded Center of Excellence Status, which recognizes surgeons that have performed at least 125 bariatric surgeries, including at least 50 bariatric surgeries per year.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to offer this high caliber, comprehensive and life-changing program to people throughout northwest New Jersey,” said David Lundquist, Chief Operating Officer of Saint Clare’s Health System. “Recognition as a Center of Excellence is further proof of the consistency of excellence in the bariatric surgeries we perform, but also the mental, physical and emotional support we offer to our patients that go through our comprehensive weight loss surgery program.”

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. Due to the increasing numbers of bariatric surgeries, the ASMBS created the Centers of Excellence program to recognize the bariatric surgery centers that perform well and to help surgeons and hospitals continue to improve the quality and safety of care provided.

“Due to the increasing prevalence of morbid obesity and the inherent risks and the opportunities available greatly improve the health of this population, we recognize the need to implement a systematic approach to improving the quality of our program,” said Dr. Nicholas Bertha, Co-Medical Director of the Center for Weight Loss Surgery at Saint Clare’s. “At Saint Clare’s, we believe that the ASMBS Centers of Excellence program will serve as a catalyst, driving strong programs to get even better. We have done our part, and we urge our peers to join the effort.”

Bariatric surgery, sometimes referred to as obesity surgery or weight loss surgery, is designed to allow patients to achieve long-term, significant weight loss. The Center for Weight Loss Surgery offers patients either gastric banding or gastric bypass surgery, and these specialized surgical procedures are intended for patients with a clearly documented history of failed diet attempts.

"Bariatric surgery combined with post-operative diet and exercise has a 90 percent success rate,” said Dr. Alexander Abkin, Co-Medical Director of the Center for Weight Loss Surgery. “A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed complete remission of Type II Diabetes in 73% of patients after gastric banding surgery.”

Other members of the Bariatric Surgery Panel at the Center for Weight Loss Surgery include Dr. Jordan Garrison, Dr. Anthony Pucci and Dr. Ramon Rivera.

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