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Duke Raleigh Hospital’s Bariatric Center Earns Highest Accreditation from American College of Surgeons’ Bariatric Surgery Center Network

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Molly Tomlinson
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Oct. 9, 2012 For Immediate Release

Raleigh, N.C. – Duke Raleigh Hospital’s bariatric surgery center has been accredited as a Level 1 facility by the Bariatric Surgery Center Network (BSCN) Accreditation Program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). This is the highest possible designation.

“To earn this designation, Duke Raleigh Hospital underwent a rigorous process during which all aspects of the program’s surgical processes were closely examined and data on health outcomes was collected,” said Alfonso Torquati, MD, MSci, medical director of the Duke Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery. “This outstanding achievement demonstrates a commitment by both surgeons and hospital to build and maintain the best bariatric surgery program in Wake and surrounding counties.”

“This designation gives patients confidence and assurance that they are making the best decision for themselves,” said Jin Yoo, MD, FACS, FASMBS, medical director of Duke Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery of Raleigh.

The accreditation also “opens the door for the type of patients we can now provide care for,” said Dr. Yoo.  “For instance, Medicare patients and certain managed care insurance companies that require their patients to be cared for at an accredited facility, can now have access to Duke Raleigh Hospital. 

“We are the largest bariatric program in North Carolina with six surgeons in our practice, two clinic sites and two hospitals where we are the only bariatric surgeons,” continued Dr. Yoo. “The Duke weight loss surgery program is the second largest academic bariatric program in the U.S., which means that  patients are not only getting the best quality of care from [our] staff members and physicians, but also all the latest advances, technology and research that can only be obtained from an academic center.”

In the United States, more than 11 million people suffer from severe obesity, and the numbers continue to increase. Obesity increases the risks of morbidity and mortality because of diseases and conditions commonly associated with it, such as type II diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Weight-loss surgery currently provides the only effective, lasting relief from severe obesity. The ACS accreditation is designed to assist the public in identifying those facilities that provide optimal surgical care for patients who undergo this surgical procedure.    

Established by the ACS in 2005 to extend established quality improvement practices to all disciplines of surgical care, the BSCN accreditation program provides confirmation that a bariatric surgery center has a demonstrated commitment to the highest quality care for its patients. To achieve the designation, each hospital undergoes onsite verification by experienced bariatric surgeons, who review the center’s structure, process and quality of data using the ACS Bariatric Surgery Center Network Accreditation Program Manual as a guideline.

The ACS is a scientific and educational association of surgeons founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical education and practice and to improve the care of the surgical patient. The College has more than 78,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.