Bariatric surgery is a choice that many are making to attain control over their obesity. Many of the procedures are very successful and help individuals to regain their livelihood and good health. Choosing the surgeon and the facility for the surgery is one of the biggest decisions you will make and can greatly affect the success of your efforts. There are several credentials that are important to keep in mind when you are searching for the right surgeon and facility for your care before, during and after the surgery.
The Fellow of American College of Surgeons (FACS) is an organization that works to improve the quality of care for surgical patients. They offer a variety of accreditations and provide surgeons with a way to meet the standards of care that are set out in the different designations.
The American College of Surgeons is a major accreditation agency for all surgeons. Surgeons wishing to become a Fellow of American College of Surgeons (ACS) must join and pay a membership fee.
One of the most outstanding and renowned credentials is that awarded by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). This organization provides several different credentials for both surgeons and facilities for bariatric surgeries.
The American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery has a high standard and criteria requirement for attaining the different credentials that they provide. The ASMBS is considered the gold standard in accreditation for weight loss surgeons.
Surgeon of Excellence in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (SOEMBS)
The Surgeon of Excellence in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (SOEMBS) is a program administered by the Surgical Review Corporation, which provides surgeons globally with an opportunity to receive certification individual instead of or in addition to a part of a facility designation of excellence. Some of the reasons a surgeon might seek this designation may include the fact that the surgeon performs surgery at multiple facilities, that they wish to have an individual designation that shows their own abilities, or that they would like to earn a certification, but the facility they work with is not ready for the certification as of yet.
The SOEMBS designation differs from the Center of Excellence designation in that there is no requirement for the surgeon to have co-certification with a facility and the surgeon must perform a minimum of 100 surgeries of bariatric nature in each year. There are seven requirements for the SOEMBS designation for a surgeon and they are as follows:
The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and The American College of Surgeons (ACS) worked together to create an accreditation program called the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). This accreditation is one national accreditation standard for the bariatric surgery centers nationally. The accreditation is an effort to ensure that patients receive safe and high quality care for their needs. The center that receives this accreditation has proven themselves to be able to maintain physical resources, human resources and high standards of practice. All outcomes from these accredited centers are reported to the MBSAQIP database for research and evaluation in hopes to advance measures of quality across the board.
Ensuring that the facility and the surgeon that you are considering for your surgery is qualified is essential to making your decision. The qualifications that come with the designations available ensure that the surgeon and the facility has the experience of performing the procedures and that they have passed extensive scrutiny in order to get the accreditation. The governing agencies for the designations work hard to ensure that there is a high standard of surgical patient care, both bariatric and general, by setting these guidelines. Asking the surgeon and the center for their credentials is not something that should be overlooked.
Center of Excellence
ASMBS provides a facility designation referred to as the Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence. This designation provides patients with the understanding that the facility that they are choosing has met several criteria in order to attain this standing. The designation is given to surgeons, freestanding outpatient facilities, hospitals and surgical centers and is actually administered by Surgical Review Corporation. This distinction has been given to over 400 centers and 750 surgeons in the United States. It is given to both the surgeon and the facility that they are in. Some of the criteria that the center must meet in order to receive this designation include: