Criteria to Consider When Selecting a Bariatric Surgery Center
According to the American College of Surgeons, most severely obese patients fail to maintain a normal, healthy weight without non-surgical means. Because surgery holds the key to success for so many obese Americans, it is helpful to learn about bariatric surgery centers.
Many hospitals and medical centers now have bariatric surgery centers onsite. These centers do more than just perform surgeries; many offer a multidisciplinary approach, including the expertise of surgeons, psychologists, registered dietitians, physical therapists, exercise physiologist, meditation specialists, and others. Some centers will also communicate with the patient's insurance company for the pre-approval and appeal process. Most provide ongoing medical check-ups to monitor patient health and weight-loss post-operatively.
On occasion, bariatric surgical centers will partner with others to form a cooperative, essentially doubling the services they can provide and the number of patients they can assist. Many also contract with contract with financial institutions to offer financial assistance to patients who do not have insurance but who still want bariatric surgery.
The American College of Surgeons (ACS) recommends choosing a bariatric center that completes at least 125 bariatric surgeries per year. According to the ACS, well-equipped centers will typically have two or more bariatric surgeons on staff, and highly experienced surgeons would be certified by the American Board of Surgery and complete at least fifty bariatric operations per year.
When researching an appropriate bariatric center, be sure to consider research centers and universities. Many university hospitals have added bariatric centers, and most are on the cutting edge of this field.
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