PHD Named a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence
05/17/2007

DALLAS – Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas has been designated a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society of Bariatric Surgery (ASBS), one of the highest distinctions for weight-loss surgery programs in the United States.

The announcement comes after an exhaustive review of clinical practices, patient outcomes and facility compliance with ASBS standards.

“Bariatric surgery and the long-term treatment of obesity is complex and requires the commitment of various specialists for success,” said James A. Davidson, M.D., a bariatric surgeon on the medical staff at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas (PHD) and medical director of the Weight Loss Surgery Program at PHD. “This designation reflects our deep commitment to patient care, which includes surgeons on the medical staff and a multidisciplinary team of nurses, nutritionists and counselors, who all work together to treat patients suffering from obesity.”

To become an ASBS Center of Excellence, the PHD Weight Loss Surgery Program had to demonstrate that it provides the latest in surgical options, as well as follow-up treatment for up to two years after a patient's surgery. In addition to ongoing education for all patients, the PHD program offers a monthly support group for patients to share their experiences and learn from others who have undergone bariatric surgery.

“Everyone involved in this program is passionate about their work because we know these procedures can improve the quality of people's lives,” Dr. Davidson said. “Most importantly, weight-loss surgery greatly reduces a patient's risk for type 2 diabetes, which is a debilitating disease affecting millions of overweight people in the United States.”

Bariatric surgeons at PHD are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week for bariatric surgery patients who need medical assistance. They see all patients who undergo surgery through the PHD program, which offers several weight-loss surgeries, including Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery and LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Band surgery.

“We think it's important that a surgeon familiar with obese patients and bariatric surgery be available to provide medical care to these patients,” said Robert M. Hagood, M.D., a bariatric surgeon on the PHD medical staff. “These patients often have unique post surgical conditions that a bariatric surgeon is best suited to diagnose and treat properly.”

The ASBS appraised clinical staff to ensure they are capable of dealing with the physical and emotional demands of this patient population. The process for identifying appropriate candidates for surgery was also reviewed. At PHD, patients undergo a battery of medical tests for everything from heart problems to sleep apnea to psychological issues.

“To effectively treat this condition, it's important that each patient be given the proper medical evaluation to limit complications and improve long-term success,” Dr. Hagood said. “Many times, we'll find that a patient isn't ready for surgery, so we'll address other medical issues before taking that step.”

Furniture, hospital equipment, instruments and imaging resources at PHD were analyzed to ensure they meet the special needs of this patient population, who routinely exceed their ideal body weight by 100 pounds.

“Designation by ASBS is a tremendous accomplishment and milestone for PHD and reflects the outstanding quality of care and expertise we have here in bariatric surgery,” said Mark H. Merrill, president of PHD. “This designation reflects teamwork, great outcomes and clinical competence.”

The Center of Excellence designation is given by the ASBS's surgery review committee, which is made up exclusively of bariatric surgeons.

Earlier this year, the PHD Weight Loss Surgery Program was named a center of excellence for bariatric surgery by BlueCross BlueShield. The designation is based on a full range of clinical services, including inpatient care, post-operative care, follow-up and patient education.

About Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas
Established in 1966, Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas is the flagship hospital of Presbyterian Healthcare System, a member of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system. PHD is a recognized clinical program leader, providing technologically advanced care to patients. The 866-bed facility has approximately 4,000 employees and an active medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians. For more information about PHD, visit www.PHSCare.org.

About TexasHealth Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. THR controls 13 affiliated hospitals and a medical research organization, and is a corporate member or partner in seven additional hospitals and surgery centers. THR’s family of hospitals includes Harris Methodist Hospitals, Arlington Memorial Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare System. For more information about Texas Health Resources, visit www.TexasHealth.org.

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Contact:
Stephen O'Brien
214-345-4960 Phone
214-759-2584 Pager
StephenO'Brien@TexasHealth.org