LHN Bariatric Center renewed as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence®

Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence® seal.

News release from the Lutheran Health Network:

LHN Bariatric Center Approved for Renewal as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence®
More than 700 weight loss surgeries performed since 2005

(October 26, 2011) – Lutheran Health Network announced today that its bariatric center has been approved for renewal as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence® by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the Surgical Review Corporation. The ASMBS Center of Excellence designation recognizes surgical programs with a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes in bariatric surgery.

“I am very gratified to be part of a team of nurses, dietitians, behaviorists, surgical technicians and exercise specialists who all work together to provide the highest level of care for our patients,” said Dale Sloan, MD, medical director, Lutheran Health Network Bariatric Center. “Safety and excellent outcomes are what we continually strive for. We are pleased that the level of patient care we provide has again been recognized by the national organization that determines a program’s qualifications to be called a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence.”

The LHN Bariatric Center, Key Bariatric Specialists and Dr. Sloan were evaluated through a series of onsite inspections in order to maintain the Center of Excellence designation. All aspects of the program’s surgical processes were closely examined and data on health outcomes was collected. The LHN Bariatric Center was first recognized as an ASMBS Center of Excellence in 2008.

Fort Wayne resident Mary Ellen Nolte is a prime example of how lives can be changed through bariatric surgery. Being morbidly obese for most of her adult life, she suffered from multiple medical conditions including type 2 diabetes, uncontrolled high blood pressure, impaired mobility, chronic pain and stage 3 kidney disease. Nolte’s primary care physician told her candidly that she feared her life expectancy was very limited; maybe two years.

After learning about bariatric surgery options from her daughter, an internist in Minneapolis, Nolte attended an information session at the LHN Bariatric Center. With the support of her family, friends and pastor, she underwent a laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass at Lutheran a little more than a year ago. The results have been impressive, to say the least.

Now 138 lbs. lighter, Nolte says she’s off medications that were taken in an attempt to control her ever-worsening health. She has no signs of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or sleep apnea, and her kidneys have improved.

“I feel like myself again and have been freed from the prison of my body,” Nolte said. “My husband Joe and I exercise daily and we adhere faithfully to important dietary changes. Best of all, my cardiologist almost embarrassed me recently with heartfelt praise and a suggestion that I can enjoy a long and healthy life.”

The LHN Bariatric Center offers a comprehensive, medically supervised weight-loss program that serves patients in northeastern Indiana, southern Michigan and northwestern Ohio. The program offers three surgical options:

  • Sleeve gastrectomy (20 surgeries performed as of Oct. 1)
  • Adjustable gastric band (265 surgeries performed as of Oct. 1)
  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (415 surgeries performed as of Oct. 1)

Individuals who choose to have bariatric surgery take part in a consultation with a member of the bariatric center team. When a specific type of procedure is selected, the patient is asked to complete a program that involves multidisciplinary education and some preoperative weight loss to make their upcoming surgery as safe as possible.

A patient can expect, on average, to spend one to two days in the hospital after bariatric surgery.  Comprehensive postoperative supervision and education is tailored to each patient. Ongoing assistance includes monthly support groups and annual lifetime visits.

Obesity has become a significant national health issue. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that about one-third (33.8 percent) of all U.S. adults are obese, and according to the 2010 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, approximately two-thirds (63.1 percent) of all U.S. adults are considered either overweight or obese. Morbid obesity is closely correlated with a number of serious conditions that severely undermine the health of overweight patients, including heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Bariatric surgery can help obese patients manage these conditions. By definition, surgeons with ASMBS Center of Excellence designations practice only top-quality care. The LHN Bariatric Center demonstrates the willingness to take the extra step by providing a team of specially trained physicians, nurses, nutritionists and psychiatric staff before and after surgery. The center also emphasizes pre- and postoperative education to ensure a safe, smooth course of treatment.

Centers receiving the Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence designation agree to continue to share information on clinical pathways, protocols and outcomes data. Centers are asked to look critically at every aspect of patient care. Each is evaluated against specific benchmarks, resulting in best practices and therefore, the best outcomes for patients.

The Surgical Review Corporation, an organization dedicated to pursuing surgical excellence, formulates and establishes the rigorous standards with which the LHN Bariatric Center and other Centers of Excellence must comply. SRC thoroughly inspects and evaluates each candidate for designation, and upon review, recommends approval of designation for those physicians and facilities whose practices and outcomes meet the stringent demands set forth by SRC for ASMBS. For more information about the ASMBS BSCOE program, visit .

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