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Tampa General Hospital+USF Health Bariatric Program Earns Full Reaccreditation

Thursday, October 20, 2022

The TGH+USF Health Bariatric Center has again earned full accreditation as a Comprehensive Center under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP), a joint program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). The program sets national standards for bariatric surgery centers with a goal of advancing safe, high-quality care for weight-loss surgery patients.

This is the fifth consecutive MBSAQIP accreditation for the TGH+USF Health Bariatric Center. To be accredited, a bariatric surgery center must undergo an independent, voluntary, and rigorous peer evaluation in accordance with nationally recognized bariatric surgical standards. This accreditation not only promotes uniform benchmarks, but also supports continuous quality improvement.

"We continue to strive to deliver the highest quality of care, in the safest manner, for any patient regardless of complexity. We do this by leveraging our world-class experts in a multidisciplinary team setting and crafting a patient care plan specific to each patient," said Dr. Christopher DuCoin, chief of the TGH Digestive Diseases Institute, director of the TGH+USF Health Bariatric Center, associate professor, vice chair of the Department of Surgery, and director of the Division of Gastrointestinal Surgery in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.

As one of the first accredited bariatric programs in the state, the TGH+USF Health Bariatric Center is the only MBSAQIP-accredited program at an academic medical center (AMC) in Florida recognized as a comprehensive center with adolescent and obesity medicine qualifications. The program is also one of only two at an AMC in the U.S. that is MBSAQIP accredited as a comprehensive center with adolescent and obesity medicine qualifications and with a board-certified obesity medicine physician on staff.

"Having a board-certified obesity medicine physician on staff to coordinate patient care and lead the team of bariatric health care providers can significantly enhance the patient experience and quality of care," DuCoin said.

Through the program's multidisciplinary approach, patients work with a team of bariatric experts across multiple specialties, including surgeons, endocrinologists, bariatricians, registered nurses, psychologists and dietitians. Patients have access to a comprehensive range of services and long-term support including pre- and post-operative bariatric surgery support groups to help them succeed in their weight-loss journey. Procedures and services include:

Gastric bypass surgery
Sleeve gastrectomy
Adjustable gastric banding procedures
Revisional bariatric surgeries
Post-operative care programs and long-term support
Endoscopic bariatric surgery (transoral incisionless surgery)
Duodenal switch procedure
Bariatric surgery education
Bariatric surgery support groups
Psychological assistance
Comprehensive wellness assessments
Nutritional interventions
Physician-supervised (non-surgical) rapid weight-loss programs
Physician-supervised (non-surgical) weight-maintenance programs

"We welcome all patients to the program and work with them to find the weight-loss solution that is appropriate for them," DuCoin said. "The goal of this program is to provide patients with a variety of resources to help them lose weight in a long-term, meaningful manner."

According to Florida Department of Health statistics, approximately 28% of adult Floridians are obese and have a body mass index (BMI) over 30. Candidates for weight-loss surgery generally need to have a BMI of 40 or more, or a BMI of 35 or more combined with serious health conditions. The TGH+USF Health Bariatric Center has helped more than 5,000 weight-loss patients achieve healthy weights and lifestyles. In addition to weight loss, bariatric surgery can enhance self-esteem and improve health conditions such as diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, hypertension, asthma and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

In addition to weight-loss surgery for adults, Tampa General Hospital and USF Health's Adolescent Bariatric Surgery program provides bariatric services for adolescents over the age of 16 who have a body mass index of 40 or higher and who have not lost weight despite dieting and exercising. Patients considering adolescent weight loss surgery must attend a one-hour bariatric surgery information session and adhere to post-surgery nutritional guidelines and lifelong follow-up at the TGH+USF Health Bariatric Center.

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