VIRGINIA HOSPITAL CENTER RECOGNIZED AS A BARIATRIC SURGERY CENTER OF EXCELLENCE BY ACS BARIATRIC SURGERY CENTER NETWORK
Arlington, VA (May 8, 2012) – Virginia Hospital Center, a leading comprehensive healthcare facility in the Washington Metropolitan area, has been accredited as a Level 1 facility by the Bariatric Surgery Center Network (BSCN) Accreditation Program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS).
In order to receive accreditation, Dr. J.R. Salameh of Virginia Surgical Associates and Medical Director of the Bariatric Surgery Center, along with his partner, Dr. James T. Mayes, led a multidisciplinary team through a year long process to obtain accreditation. An on-site verification was conducted by an experienced bariatric surgeon, who reviews the Center’s structure, process, and quality of data using the current ACS Bariatric Surgery Center Network Accreditation Program Manual as a guideline in conducting the survey. This Center of Excellence designation means that the Hospital can care for the most complex bariatric surgery cases, with no weight restrictions, and that Virginia Hospital Center meets all the nationally recognized bariatric surgical standards. Most importantly, the entire staff receives sensitivity training.
“The Hospital decided to undergo the year long certification process because it symbolizes institutional commitment and accountability for safe, high-quality surgical care, said Dr. Salameh. “If you’re thinking about weight loss surgery, this is the place to come to. We provide the highest level of bariatric surgical treatment and all the support that goes with it.”
Bariatric surgery patients have three treatment options. Each procedure has a different risk profile, benefits and side effects. In gastric bypass surgery, the stomach is made smaller by creating a small pouch at the top of the stomach. It is connected to the middle portion of the small intestine, which reduces the amount of calories and nutrients absorbed into the body. Adjustable gastric banding uses a saline-filled silicone ring that is placed around the upper part of the stomach. This creates a new, smaller stomach pouch that can hold only a small amount of food. In vertical sleeve gastrectomy, a large part of the stomach is surgically removed.
Prospective patients undergo a rigorous evaluation to make sure they are physically and emotionally ready for the surgery and the associated life style changes. Patients see an internist and work with a nutritionist. Based on their medical condition, they also may see a cardiologist, a gastroenterologist, and sleep specialists.
“Everyone also sees a psychologist,” says Dr. Salameh. “When you alter what patients eat and how much, this affects them. We make sure they are ready for the surgery, not only physically, but also emotionally.”
Established by the American College of Surgeons in 2005 in an effort to extend established quality improvement practices to all disciplines of surgical care, the ACS BSCN Accreditation Program provides confirmation that a bariatric surgery center has demonstrated its commitment to providing the highest quality care for its bariatric surgery patients. Accredited bariatric surgery centers provide not only the hospital resources necessary for optimal care of morbidly obese patients, but also the support and resources that are necessary to address the entire spectrum of care and needs of bariatric patients, from the pre-hospital phase through the postoperative care and treatment process.
Through the accreditation, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid service recognizes Virginia Hospital Center and allows expanded Medicare coverage of bariatric surgery for beneficiaries of all ages who have been diagnosed with other health problems associated with obesity. Medicare coverage has been limited to procedures performed in facilities certified by the American College of Surgeons or the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery.
About Virginia Hospital Center
For over 60 years, Virginia Hospital Center has provided exceptional medical services to the Washington metropolitan area. Virginia Hospital Center is a 342-bed, $150 million state-of-the-art facility offering comprehensive healthcare and multiple Centers of Excellence including Cardiology & Cardiovascular Surgery, the Reinsch Pierce Family Center for Breast Health, Neuroscience, Oncology, Total Joint Replacement (hip and knee), Women & Infant Health and Urology. Growing service lines include Executive Health and the only Lung Cancer Center in northern Virginia. Virginia Hospital Center is a teaching hospital, long-associated with Georgetown University’s School of Medicine, and accredited by The Joint Commission and Licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Health. For additional information, please visit www.VirginiaHospitalCenter.com.