NYU Program for Surgical Weight Loss a Center of Excellence

July 25, 2006 (All day)

Jennifer Choi
Office of Communications and Public Affairs
NYU Medical Center
Tel: 212-404-3555
E-mail: Jennifer.Choi@nyumc.org

New York, NY, July 25, 2006 - The Program for Surgical Weight Loss at NYU Medical Center has been designated a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society of Bariatric Surgery (ASBS). The Center of Excellence designation recognizes surgical programs with a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes in bariatric surgery and a long term post-surgery follow up program.

To combat the growing epidemic of obesity in the U.S., the number of bariatric surgeries in the United States has increased rapidly. Faced with clinical evidence that the most experienced and best-run bariatric surgery programs have, by far, the lowest rates of complications, the ASBS Centers of Excellence program was created to improve the quality and safety of care provided.

To earn a Center of Excellence designation, NYU Medical Center underwent an in-depth application process and site inspection during which all aspects of the program's surgical processes were closely examined. NYU Medical Center and other centers that receive the designation also agreed to continue to share information on clinical pathways, patient care protocols, and outcomes data so that excellence can be maintained on a national basis.

"We are proud of this distinction and will continue to serve our patients with expert and compassionate care," said Christine J. Ren, M.D. Founder and Director of the Program for Surgical Weight Loss at NYU Medical Center. "The distinction also serves as good news for many patients seeking the surgery as it was recently ruled that Medicare would cover bariatric surgery only when performed at designated Centers of Excellence." Dr. Ren is also the Chair of the Insurance Committee of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery.

The NYU Program for Surgical Weight Loss has become a pioneer in the field of the bariatric surgery. The lead surgeons, Dr. Christine Ren, Assistant Professor of Surgery and Dr. George Fielding, Associate Professor of Surgery have performed the most gastric band surgeries in this country. Dr. Fielding, who began performing the band surgery in Australia where it was approved earlier in the United States, has performed the most band surgeries in the world. In total, the entire surgical team at the program has completed over 6,500 bariatric surgeries.

NYU Medical Center is also a leader in examining the efficacy and safety of bariatric surgery on adolescents. The program has the largest experience on this type of surgery on adolescents and has even launched an FDA-approved trial to study the effects of the gastric band on morbidly obese adolescents ages 14-17. The adolescent program is led by Dr. Fielding, who personally battled obesity since childhood and had the band surgery himself in 1999. He has maintained his weight loss ever since.

For more information on the NYU Program for Surgical Weight Loss, please visit: www.nyuweightloss.org