Looking Forward in 2012: ASMBS and ACS Join to Create a Unified Centers of Excellence Program

| January 18, 2012 | 0 Comments

Dear Readers of Bariatric Times,

I hope you had a good end-of-the-year celebration in 2011 and I wish you all a great 2012.

In this first 2012 issue of Bariatric Times, we present another installment in our special section “Surgical Pearls: Techniques in Bariatric Surgery.” This month, my group at Cleveland Clinic Florida describes the linear stapler gastrojejunostomny for gastric bypass. This should be a good complement to previous issues, which featured experts Drs. Alan Wittgrove and Kelvin Higa demonstrating the circular stapler and the hand-sewn technique.
In this month’s installment of “The Hole in the Wall,” Drs. Slone and Bath address a common problem of managing abdominal wall hernias in morbidly obese patients. In many instances, hernias are detected intraoperatively and surgeons are asked to make decisions how to deal with a permanent or temporary repair.

Dr. Snow’s article on Intraoperative band adjustment is, in my opinion, a controversial one. We all know that in some cases just 2cc of fluid might occlude the gastroesophageal (GE) junction. It would be unwise to do so in patients that are recovering from anesthesia since an aspiration episode might prove to be fatal if not detected and managed on time. To adjust intraoperatively and send the patient home to follow seem to be the perfect formula for the above-mentioned complication.

Cherish Ed Mason’s wisdom and stories in this new exciting monthly column “Ed Mason at Large.” The most memorable sentence of this months column is the last one: “In 1885, Billroth provided us with an operation that prevents and cures T2D. He just did not know about the disease and the mechanism of dumping for diabetes.” Don’t miss it.

Look carefully at this month’s “Five Minutes with…” column, which features an interview with Kerrie Warne, Director of St. Alexius NewStart Program at St. Alexius Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. She talks about her experience using data-driven performance techniques to evaluate and improve her bariatric program and explains how important it is for bariatric programs to follow and track their patients as they are getting ready for surgery. More importantly, she presents to us a successful program developed in the Midwest that is a low-cost tracking method based on the collection of objective data that will also result in increased employee productivity, improved staff morale, and increased overall business growth.

In 2008, and thanks to the vision and efforts of Dr. Thomas Rogula, the International Bariatric Club was created resulting in an incredible resource for communicating trends and ideas via the internet. Dr. Haris Khwaja gives us an insight into this program and delivers precise instructions on how you can log in from your portable computer or cellular phone to view and/or participate in monthly webinars from around the globe.

I am sure that by now everyone is aware of the new American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS)/American College of Surgeons (ACS) Centers of Excellence (COE) accreditation program. While some of you have expressed concerns regarding the implementation and changes to current standards, most members are excited and looking forward to this joint effort. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the right direction for our society to take. Be assured that the ASMBS leadership will protect your interests and try to resolve any problems you will encounter with this new program. A unified COE accreditation program will strengthen our position in future discussions with government and payers, and it will ultimately result in benefits to our patients and our practices. With the invaluable expertise and guidance from the ACS, we will set up a novel and unique quality program enhancing our outcomes database.

Let me finish this first editorial of 2012 by saying that this major change did not happen by chance. It was a well thought-out and widely discussed motion made possible thanks to a tremendous amount of work and effort from our current president Dr. Robin Blackstone.

I look forward to joining you at our next business meeting at the ASMBS Annual Clinical Congress in San Diego, California, this upcoming June and welcoming Robin with a standing ovation for her outstanding work as 2011/2012 ASMBS president. Save your seat.

Raul J. Rosenthal, MD, FACS
Editor, Bariatric Times


Category: Editorial Message, Past Articles

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