Atlanta, Ga. (March 6, 2013) – Piedmont Atlanta Hospital recently was named an American College of Surgeons Level 2 Accredited Bariatric Center. To achieve this accreditation, Piedmont Atlanta’s weight loss surgery program had to meet a number of institutional performance measures.
“Obesity is a known health concern that plagues our nation and this accreditation is just one way Piedmont is committed to providing quality services that support our community,” said Les Donahue, president and CEO of Piedmont Atlanta. “Patients can rest assured knowing our bariatric surgeons and staff are here to help them achieve their goals and lead a healthier life.”
Studies show bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, causes significant long-term loss of weight, recovery from diabetes, improvement in cardiovascular risk factors and a reduction in mortality rates.
In Georgia, approximately 30 percent of residents are obese with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Obesity increases a person’s risk for developing various conditions such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, and can even lead to death.
“Patients choose bariatric surgery for a number of reasons,” said Kevin McGill, M.D., bariatric surgeon at Piedmont Atlanta. “Whether it is because they have been unsuccessful losing weight with the help of prescribed diet and exercise programs or there is a real need to control the patient’s blood sugar as a result of type II diabetes, the main goal behind a patient’s decision to pursue bariatric surgery is to get healthy and live better quality of life.”
The U.S. National Institutes of Health recommends bariatric surgery for people with a BMI of at least 40, and for those with a BMI of 35 along with serious coexisting medical conditions such as diabetes. However, research is emerging that suggests bariatric surgery could be appropriate for those with a BMI as low as 30 depending on circumstances.
Currently, three types of bariatric surgery are available at Piedmont Atlanta: gastric bypass, which creates a small stomach pouch by reducing the size of the patient’s stomach; sleeve gastrectomy, in which a large portion of a patient’s stomach is removed; and adjustable gastric banding, or lap band, in which a device is placed around the stomach, dividing it into two parts.
“Piedmont Atlanta Hospital has demonstrated its commitment to providing the highest quality care for its bariatric surgery patients,” said Cora Hays-Magan, program coordinator, Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care, ACS. “Accredited bariatric surgery centers provide the support and resources necessary to address the entire spectrum of care and needs of bariatric patients.”
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical education and practice and to improve the care of the surgical patient. Its achievements have placed it at the forefront of American surgery and have made the College an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 79,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.
For more information about weight loss and bariatric surgery or to register for a free educational seminar at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, visit piedmont.org.