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    The Miriam Hospital Recognized for High Quality Care in Bariatric Surgery

    The Miriam Hospital announced today that it has been named an American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence®. The designation recognizes surgical programs with a demonstrated track record of excellence in providing superior and comprehensive bariatric surgery care.

    Center of Excellence seal“Many obese patients have tried to lose weight and keep it off with strict diet and exercise regimens but have been unsuccessful, and in the meantime they struggle with obesity-related health complications, like high blood pressure or diabetes,” said Siva Vithiananthan, MD, chief of minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at The Miriam Hospital. “In some cases of severe obesity, bariatric surgery is the only proven method of achieving long-term weight control. But it is still surgery, and it's important for bariatric surgery candidates to know that the hospital performing the procedure has been recognized nationally for optimal performance and successful patient outcomes.”

    The Miriam Hospital's bariatric surgery program offers comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals who are seeking a surgical solution for weight control. The program provides a full range of bariatric care services to support patients throughout the entire process, including a thorough preoperative evaluation, free patient support groups, pre- and post-operative counseling and a long-term follow-up plan to help patients commit to the lifestyle changes needed to achieve and maintain successful results.

    Led by Vithiananthan, The Miriam's multidisciplinary bariatric surgery team includes physicians, nurse practitioners, behavioral therapists, nutritionists, physical therapists and nurses with expertise in weight loss surgery.

    The Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence designation comes after a lengthy and rigorous review process by the Surgical Review Corporation, the accrediting organization for the ASMBS, which involved a thorough site inspection and evaluation of patient outcomes.

    “This achievement is not only a testament to the tremendous growth and success of our program, but also emphasizes our ongoing commitment to providing the highest level of care possible for our bariatric surgery patients,” said Arthur Sampson, executive director of The Miriam Hospital. “On behalf of the Miriam community, I would like to congratulate Dr. Vithiananthan and the entire bariatric team on this prestigious achievement. Their expertise and continued dedication to the health and well-being of our patients made this designation possible.”

    In the United States, more than half of all adults are considered overweight or obese, and the numbers continue to rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 39 percent of Rhode Islanders are considered overweight and another 22 percent are considered obese. Obesity is closely linked with a number of serious health complications, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Bariatric surgery, when performed correctly, can help obese patients manage these conditions.

    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. Faced with clinical evidence that the most experienced and best-run bariatric surgery programs have by far the lowest rates of complications, the ASMBS Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence program was created to recognize bariatric surgery centers that perform well. Overall, more than 400 facilities around the world have been designated a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence.

    The bariatric surgery program at The Miriam Hospital, which launched in 2007, provides laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and gastric banding procedures to treat obesity by limiting the capacity for food intake. The Miriam Hospital and Rhode Island Hospital, which has previously been designated a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence designation, perform more than 350 bariatric surgeries a year - more than any other facility in Rhode Island.

    Learn more about the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence®.

    For more information on The Miriam Hospital's bariatric surgery program or to enroll in the next monthly bariatric patient information seminar, please call 401-793-3922.

    (Posted 01/31/11)

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