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How do I choose a surgeon—and a hospital—for my weight loss surgery?

Across the country, there are approximately 750 bariatric surgery programs accredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program. For someone considering weight loss surgery, the questions are: where do I go for my bariatric surgery? How do I choose a surgeon?

The choice to have weight loss surgery is a potentially life changing decision. Here are some suggestions to help you choose a hospital and surgeon:

Is the hospital accredited?

Research shows that patients who have weight loss surgery at non-accredited facilities in the United States are up to 1.4 times more likely to experience serious complications and more than twice as likely to die after the operation as compared with those who undergo surgery at an accredited bariatric center. You can see the list of accredited facilities here: www.facs.org/search/bariatric-surgery-centers

You may want to consider a hospital accredited by that isaccredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program,as Roger Williams has been since 2005.

To achieve this designation, the institution must have:

  • performed a minimum number of bariatric procedures the prior year.
  • achieved excellent quality outcomes.
  • be home to a staff that has undergone extra training specific to weight loss surgery and the treatment of bariatric patients.
  • a Bariatric Coordinator who helps things run smoothly, often serving as the main point of contact for patients.

Are you comfortable with your weight loss surgery team and hospital?

Communication is one of the most important factors in maintaining successful weight loss following bariatric surgery. Your comfort level is important too. Are the surgeon and the team members available to discuss any issues you may be experiencing? Is there support in place before and after surgery? Does your surgeon and hospital team have the appropriate credentialing and experience?

The team at Roger Williams has operated on more than 3,000 bariatric patients, most of whom have experienced excellent outcomes. We host a monthly informational session to ensure patients know everything necessary before making the important decision to have weight loss surgery. Our patients can take advantage of our support groups with trained facilitators. Additionally, we are now offering an app called “MyRIWeightLossCoach” to help patients on their weight loss journey. 

There are many factors that go into choosing a hospital, surgeon, and weight loss team. We invite you to join us at one of our monthly seminars to see if we are the right fit for you.

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