UTICA, N.Y. – Patients seeking surgical treatment for severe obesity and its related conditions have a high-quality choice for receiving treatment at a nationally accredited program that meets the highest standards for patient safety and quality of care in the greater Mohawk Valley area.

William Graber, MD, director of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and Weight Loss surgeon at Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS), announced that the MVHS Bariatric Surgical Program achieved national 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 MBSAQIP program standards, outlined in the 2019 Optimal Resources for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, ensure that bariatric surgical patients receive a multidisciplinary program, not just a surgical procedure, which improves patient’s outcomes and long-term success. The accredited center offers pre-operative and post-operative care designed specifically for its severely obese patients.

“This accreditation formally acknowledges MVHS’s continued commitment to providing quality care and supporting patient safety efforts for metabolic and bariatric surgery patients,” said Dr. Graber. “Our accredited program works hard to address the needs of those affected by the disease of obesity – through multidisciplinary, high-quality, patient-centered care. It is our honor and privilege to continue to provide safe and effective treatments in this community, in a program whose excellent patient outcomes are nationally recognized.”

MVHS’s commitment to quality care begins with appropriately trained staff and leadership of surgeons who participate in meetings throughout the year to review the program’s outcomes. They seek continuous improvement to enhance the structure, process and results of the center.

To earn the MBSAQIP designation, the MVHS Bariatric Surgery Program met essential criteria for staffing, training and facility infrastructure and protocols for care, ensuring its ability to support patients with severe obesity. The center also participates in a national data registry that yields semi-annual reports on the quality of its processes and outcomes, identifying opportunities for continuous quality improvement.

In the United States, approximately 15.5 million people suffer from severe obesity, according to the National Institutes of Health, and the numbers continue to increase. Obesity increases the risks of morbidity and mortality because of the diseases and conditions that are commonly associated with it, such as type II diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, among other health risks. Metabolic and bariatric surgical procedures have proven to be effective in the reduction of comorbid conditions related to severe obesity.* Working with ASMBS, the ACS expanded this quality program for bariatric surgery centers so that it can assist bariatric patients in identifying those centers that provide optimal surgical care.

*Buchwald H, Avidor Y, Braunwald E, et al. Bariatric Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA. 2004;292(14):1724-1737. DOI:10.1001/jama.292.14.1724.