Portsmouth, NH – Portsmouth Regional Hospital's bariatric surgery center has recently earned national re-accreditation as a Comprehensive Center from 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).

"We know that the surgical procedure is only one part of the weight loss process," said Bernard Benedetto, M.D., metabolic and bariatric surgery director at Portsmouth Regional Hospital. "Our experienced multidisciplinary team has helped more than 1,800 Seacoast patients understand their options and guide them in their weight loss journey toward overall better health and longevity."

According to Benedetto, 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 Seacoast region.

To earn the MBSAQIP designation, Portsmouth Regional Hospital 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 semiannual reports on the quality of its processes and outcomes, identifying opportunities for continuous quality improvement. The standards are specified in the MBSAQIP Resources for Optimal Care of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Patient 2016, published by the ACS and ASMBS.

The standards ensure that bariatric surgical patients receive a multidisciplinary program, not just a surgical procedure, which improves patient outcomes and long-term success. The accredited center offers preoperative and postoperative care designed specifically for their severely obese patients.

Benedetto also says that Portsmouth Regional Hospital's commitment to quality care begins with appropriately trained staff and the leadership surgeons who participate in meetings throughout the year to review its outcomes. They seek continuous improvement to enhance the structure, process, and outcomes of the center.

"Weight loss surgery reflects a very personal decision to improve a patient's health and lifespan. Patients who opt for weight loss surgery at Portsmouth Regional Hospital see their lives transformed and notice improvements in their health and quality of life," said Dean Carucci, CEO of Portsmouth Regional Hospital. "Receiving this national accreditation for a third year confirms for patients that Portsmouth Regional Hospital has the highest standards for safety and quality care on the Seacoast."

After submitting an application, centers seeking MBSAQIP accreditation undergo an extensive site visit by an experienced bariatric surgeon, who reviews the center's structure, process, and clinical outcomes data. Centers are awarded a specific designation depending on how many patients it serves annually, the type of procedures it provides, and whether it provides care for patients under age 18.

In the United States, around 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.

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical education and practice and to improve the quality of care for the surgical patient. The College has more than 80,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.

Founded in 1983, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, was formed to advance the art and science of metabolic and bariatric surgery by continually improving the quality and safety of care and treatment of people with obesity and related diseases through educational and support programs for surgeons and integrated health professionals.