If you’re thinking about weight loss (bariatric) surgery, you may have heard the term MBSAQIP. This designation ensures that a weight loss surgery program meets national quality standards.
Here’s a look at what MBSAQIP accreditation means, its benefits, and why it matters when seeking weight loss surgery.
What Is MBSAQIP?
MBSAQIP stands for the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program. Hospitals that take part in this voluntary program commit to the highest level of safe, quality care for weight loss surgery patients.
UPMC Bariatric Services is proud to meet the highest level of MBSAQIP accreditation. That means the program has gone through a thorough review of our:
- Equipment and technology.
- Medical, surgical, and other procedures.
- Operating rooms and facilities.
- Surgeon and staff training and experience.
MBSAQIP reviews are ongoing to ensure we continue to:
- Commit to advancing our patients’ quality of care and safety.
- Have the best resources and equipment to perform even the most complex weight loss surgery procedures.
- Meet nationally recognized weight loss surgery benchmarks, outcomes, and standards of care.
- Offer continued support after weight loss surgery.
The Minimally Invasive Bariatric and General Surgery Program at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital is accredited as a comprehensive center with adolescent and obesity medicine qualifications by MBASQIP.
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Why MBSAQIP Accreditation Matters
Having weight loss surgery is life-changing. It requires preparation and support from a team of experts for the best outcome.
Choosing an accredited program gives you peace of mind knowing you’ll get complete, quality care throughout your weight loss journey. MBSAQIP-accredited centers have a team of healthcare professionals that includes:
- Experienced surgeons.
- Nurses and support staff.
- Psychologists and behavioral health experts.
- Registered dietitians.
These experts work together to support and guide you through the entire process from start to finish. They help prepare you for the health, diet, lifestyle, and personal changes you’ll live with after surgery. And they stick with you to help troubleshoot any challenges.
Accredited centers engage in ongoing work to reduce any risks and complications from surgery. They must report all outcomes to a database and always look for ways to improve.
Independent experts review each site’s outcomes and quality improvement reports. They use these to create national guidelines for weight loss surgery programs.
MBSAQIP-accredited centers aim to meet or exceed the highest quality standards. As a result, their patients are more likely to have successful outcomes.
Other Benefits of MBSAQIP Accreditation
MBSAQIP-accredited centers also offer these extra benefits:
- Accredited programs are more likely to offer a multidisciplinary team of clinicians. Behavioral health, nutrition, and physical fitness support are critical for success. It’s essential to have seamless access to these services for support before, during, and after your surgery.
- Their staff receives special training to understand and care for people undergoing weight loss surgery. This includes sensitivity training, learning how to move a patient safely, and learning how to recognize signs and symptoms of surgery complications.
- They often perform more weight loss surgeries using a wide range of techniques. That experience helps improve their surgery outcomes.
Types of Weight Loss Surgeries
Surgeons at accredited centers have expertise in the most advanced minimally-invasive techniques for weight loss surgery. Minimally invasive surgery requires only a few tiny cuts in your abdomen, so recovery is easier and faster than open surgery.
A surgeon uses a laparoscope — a thin, flexible tool with a camera — to do the operation. They insert the laparoscope into one-quarter to one-half-inch cuts in your abdomen to reach your stomach and intestines.
Your surgeon may recommend different types of procedures based on your weight and health goals. These include:
- Gastric bypass surgery. This procedure divides the stomach and makes a small stomach pouch about the size of an egg. The surgeon attaches the small intestine to the new pouch instead of your original stomach. This surgery causes fast weight loss of 60% to 80% of your excess body weight.
- Gastric sleeve surgery. In this procedure, a surgeon staples up the length of your stomach and removes the left side. Your new stomach is like a long, narrow, banana-shaped tube. Weight loss is slower, and most people lose about 60% to 70% of their excess weight.
- Malabsorptive surgery. This type of surgery significantly reduces the size of your stomach. It makes you feel full quickly, and you don’t absorb much of the food you eat. This procedure is complex and only done in about 1% of cases.
It’s crucial to have a surgeon experienced in the latest procedures. No single weight loss surgery works for everyone. An experienced surgeon can advise you on the pros and cons of the techniques and procedures.
Questions to Ask About Bariatric Surgery Centers
If your doctor recommends weight loss surgery, ask for a referral to an MBSAQIP-accredited surgical center. Feeling comfortable with your surgeon and medical team is essential.
Many centers offer free information sessions. These are a great opportunity to meet the team and ask questions.
- Verify that the surgeon and other clinicians participate in your health insurance plan.
- Ask about the surgeon’s experience and the types of weight loss surgery procedures they specialize in.
- Discuss the surgery so you understand what happens, how you’ll feel afterward, and how long it takes to recover.
- Try to meet other team members, like the behavioral health specialist and dietitian. Ask what to expect from their pre and post-surgery education and support programs.
- Ask about the hospital and offices where the surgeon and other clinicians will treat you. Being close by makes attending appointments and support groups easier before and after surgery.
Weight loss surgery is an important decision requiring a lifelong commitment to your health. Choosing an accredited program can give you confidence. You’ll receive high-quality care and have the best chance for long-term success.
About UPMC Bariatric Services
UPMC Bariatric Services is here to help if you’re struggling with obesity and want to lose weight. We offer both surgical and nonsurgical weight loss plans and can help you find the right path for a weight-loss journey. We will work with you to discuss your needs and develop and individualized treatment plan. We meet the highest level of national accreditation for bariatric surgery centers, and our team provides complete care. We offer our services at UPMC locations throughout Pennsylvania and New York. Visit our website to find a provider near you.