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West Georgia Health Successfully Completes Reaccreditation As An Exemplary Bariatric Surgery Center

West Georgia Health’s Weight Loss Surgery program has successfully been reaccredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program.

This designation, which recognizes surgical programs with a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes in obesity surgery, means West Georgia Health’s bariatric program is Georgia’s only accredited bariatric surgery program southwest of Atlanta to offer all three bariatric surgical options: gastric bypass, gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy. In addition to those three standard procedures, West Georgia Health also performs revisions and band removals.

To achieve this recent three-year extension status, West Georgia Health completed an onsite renewal inspection from MBSAQIP in which the surveyor closely examined all aspects of the bariatric program’s surgical processes and reviewed data on patient results.

West Georgia Health’s Bariatric Surgery program has been recognized by other healthcare entities as well. CareChex, an independent healthcare research company, ranked the Bariatric Surgery program as No. 3 in Medical Excellence out of 39 Georgia hospitals and No. 90 among 1,414 U.S. hospitals for 2016. It also has been named a Blue Distinction for Bariatric Surgery program by Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

In addition, West Georgia Health’s Bariatric Surgery program has been honored as an Optum Center of Excellence. Optum is an information and technology- enabled health services organization that includes a Centers of Excellence network composed of medical programs that have met or exceeded clinical and program criteria in areas of complex medical care.

West Georgia Health began offering bariatric surgery in 2008. Its surgeons have performed bariatric surgery on more than 1,100 patients, helping them lose weight and resolve related medical conditions such as: asthma, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other chronic conditions.

In fact, West Georgia Health has seen firsthand in their very own patients that bariatric surgery resolves or significantly improves several conditions including Type 2 diabetes by 68 percent, hypertension by 55 percent, obstructive sleep apnea by 92 percent, GERD by 71 percent, and hyperlipidemia by 52 percent.

To complete its reaccreditation renewal visit, West Georgia Health demonstrated:

• A commitment to excellence in caring for bariatric surgical patients, which includes appropriate results and outcomes.

• A caseload of 125 bariatric surgeries during a rolling 12month period.

• A full line of equipment and instruments needed for the care of bariatric patients.

• Clinical pathways and orders that standardize care for the procedure.

• Organized and supervised support groups for bariatric patients.

• Continual quality improvement throughout the surgical patients experience.

• Adequate coverage 365 days a year for bariatric surgery patients.

“Obesity and related diseases such as diabetes are responsible for a great deal of disability and premature death in our nation, and even more so in Georgia and Alabama,” said Dr. Wes Turton, medical director for the WGH Bariatrics program. “To continue this designation as an accredited bariatric surgery program represents our commitment to providing state-of-the-art treatment for weight-related problems. Our goal is to help our patients become healthier and live their lives to the fullest.”