Huntington Memorial Hospital Named Accredited Comprehensive Center for Bariatric Surgery

June 2, 2014

Huntington Memorial Hospital has been named an accredited comprehensive center for bariatric surgery under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program. Huntington has conducted thousands of bariatric surgeries since 2000 and was one of the first hospitals in the country to institute minimally invasive and robotic techniques.

The American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeryrecently combined their respective accreditation programs into a single unified program to achieve one national accreditation standard for bariatric surgery centers. Huntington Hospitalwas awarded this high distinction based on its excellent clinical outcomes, which has also allowed the hospital’s program to be designated a “center of excellence” from a number of contracting health plans.

“Our entire team at Huntington is honored to receive this wonderful recognition for the work we’ve been doing and for the thousands of people whose quality of life we have helped improve,” said David Lourie, M.D., director of the bariatric surgery program at Huntington Hospital. “When combined with a comprehensive treatment plan, bariatric surgery not only serves as the most effective tool to provide long-term weight loss, but often dramatically improves or resolves many obesity-related conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and more.”

Bariatric surgery works by changing the anatomy of a person’s gastrointestinal tract (stomach and digestive system); and by causing different physiologic changes in someone’s body, that changes their energy balance and fat metabolism. The end result is a reduction in the desire to eat and in the frequency of eating. More than two decades ago, the National Institutes of Health reported that individuals affected by severe obesity have trouble maintaining weight loss achieved by conventional therapies and thus recognized bariatric surgery as the only effective treatment to combat severe obesity and maintain weight loss in the long term.

In addition to improvements in health and longevity, measures of quality of life that are positively affected by bariatric surgery include physical functions such as mobility, self-esteem, work, social interactions and sexual function. “It is important to remember that bariatric surgery is a tool; and weight loss success also depends on many other factors important to our program, such as nutrition, exercise, and behavior modification,” said Dr. Lourie.

People interested in learning more about the various options available regarding the surgical treatment of obesity are invited to attend one of the bariatric symposiums held twice monthly at Huntington Hospital. They take place the first Wednesday of each month from 7 - 9 p.m. and the first Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. - noon. People may also find a physician by calling (800) 903-9233.