ALBANY, N.Y., August 17, 2005 – Albany Medical Center, which performs more than 300 weight-loss operations annually, has been designated a Bariatric Surgery Center by the American College of Surgeons. The Medical Center offers all three weight loss procedures—open gastric bypass, minimally invasive gastric bypass and minimally invasive gastric banding— as well as a comprehensive medical weight loss option.
The American College of Surgeons’ Bariatric Surgery Center Network Accreditation Program was established to improve quality and facilitate access to care for morbidly obese patients. According to the American College of Surgeons, more than 11 million people suffer from severe obesity, which significantly increases the risks of morbidity and mortality due to its associated links with such diseases as type II diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke, sleep apnea, gallbladder disease, fatty liver, osteoarthritis, and some forms of cancer.
Established in 1984, Albany Med’s bariatric program utilizes a multidisciplinary and humanist approach to care for patients. Three months before surgery, patients are required to consult with a dietician or nutritionist and begin a reduced calorie diet as well as an exercise program, which is supervised by an exercise therapist. Patients also begin a behavior modification program by a trained health professional. These interventions continue after surgery in an effort to apply a comprehensive approach to the lifestyle change the surgery requires. A weekly support group is also available for patients before and after surgery.
The American College of Surgeons acknowledges, as Bariatric Centers, those facilities which implement and maintain defined standards of practice, certain physical resources, necessary human resources, documentation of patient outcomes, and the safe and timely introduction of new knowledge and new technology into the standard of care.
Albany Medical Center, northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center, has a mission of providing excellence in medical education, biomedical research and patient care.