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Hospital designated a bariatric surgery Center of Excellence

New Britain [April 08 2008] - The Hospital of Central Connecticut has been designated a Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

The designation follows a rigorous program review of the hospital’s bariatric (weight loss) surgery program by the Surgical Review Corporation (SRC).

“This designation means we have met all the requirements to become a center of excellence. We’re ecstatic. We got it earlier than expected,” says Carlos Barba, M.D., co-medical director of the center’s bariatric surgery program and the hospital’s only designated Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence surgeon.

The review encompassed the hospital’s surgical weight loss program, surgical outcomes, staff who care for surgical weight loss patients, and facility provisions. Staff members include registered dietitians, behavioral psychologists, nurses, and clinical exercise physiologists. The hospital has made several facility changes to comply with SRC requirements.

“Successful weight loss surgery requires more than undergoing a surgical procedure. It requires a change of lifestyle,” says Dino Costanzo, administrative director of bariatrics. Surgical candidates undergo an evaluation, attend educational classes and after surgery attend support group meetings.

Since 2005, The Hospital of Central Connecticut has offered bariatric surgery for patients who, among other criteria, are severely (morbidly) obese, have not achieved success using conventional medical weight loss methods, and have medical problem(s) caused by obesity. Severe obesity is defined as being at least 100 pounds over one’s ideal body weight, or having a body mass index above 40. At The Hospital of Central Connecticut, both Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and lap-banding bariatric surgeries are offered. In 2007, the hospital conducted 223 bariatric surgical procedures.

With the designation, the hospital will continue to track surgical outcomes used toward quality improvement initiatives; also, Medicare will now cover bariatric surgical procedures for qualified patients.

With the Roux-en-Y surgical procedure, part of the stomach is stapled, leaving a small pouch that holds much less food; also, part of the small intestine is bypassed, reducing the area in which foods can be digested. Hospital stay is two to three days. With lap-banding, part of the stomach is banded to create a small pouch, thereby reducing its capacity to hold food. It is reversible and adjustable, and incurs a one-day hospital stay.

Surgery provides initial, immediate and rapid weight loss, and continued but moderate weight loss for 18 to 24 months. In addition, obesity-related medical conditions often improve and are sometimes eliminated (e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and reflux). According to the National Center for Health Statistics, in the United States, more than 72 million adults were obese in 2005-06.

For more information about the hospital’s Weigh Your Options and bariatric surgical program, please contact (860) 224-5453 or 1-866-668-5070 or go to

Contact: Kimberly Gensicki, 860-224-5900, ext. 6507

HCC Corporate Communications
(860) 224-5695 • Fax (860) 224-5779