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Published on January 21, 2010

Overlake Recognized for High Quality Care in Bariatric (Weight Loss) Surgery

Bellevue, WA (January 21, 2010)– Overlake Hospital Medical Center announced today it has been named a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence® by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). This designation recognizes surgical programs with a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes in bariatric surgery.

With the dramatic growth in the number of bariatric surgeries performed in the U.S. (from 16,000 in 1992 to 170,000 in 2005), the ASMBS program was created to recognize surgery centers that perform well and have lower rates of complications.

To earn this Center of Excellence designation, Overlake underwent a series of site inspections during which the review team closely examined surgical processes and reviewed outcome data. Overlake and other centers that receive this designation agree to continue to share information on clinical pathways, protocols and outcomes data.

“Earning this Center of Excellence designation underscores Overlake’s commitment to our patients by continuing to enhance our comprehensive bariatric surgery program,” said David Schultz, Overlake’s chief operating officer. “Bariatric surgery is a proven way for morbidly obese individuals to reduce their weight and improve their overall health and Overlake will continue to improve the quality of care we provide to this patient population.”

Obesity has become a serious health issue, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting that 66 percent of all U.S. adults are overweight or obese. Morbid obesity is closely correlated with a number of serious conditions that severely undermine the health of overweight patients, including heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Bariatric surgery, when performed correctly, can help obese patients manage these conditions. Surgeons practice only top-quality care, ensuring efficacy of the procedure with each patient to the best of their abilities. At Overlake, bariatric surgeons begin by partnering with patients to provide a thorough education of their surgical options, evaluating the risks of surgery and the risks of living with obesity. They also help patients prepare for surgery mentally and physically by scheduling mental health and medical evaluations, and in some cases, arranging for medically supervised weight loss before or after surgery. After surgery, patients receive ongoing assistance through support groups and regular check-ups with their dietitian and surgeon to help maintain their weight loss long-term.

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) is the largest society for this specialty in the world. Founded in 1983, foremost American surgeons have formed the society’s leadership and have established an excellent organization with educational and support programs for surgeons and allied health professionals. The purpose of the society is to advance the art and science of the clinic and the laboratory; interchange ideas, information and experience pertaining to bariatric physicians, paramedical persons, and lay people; and promote outcome studies and quality assurance. For more information about ASMBS, go to

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