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Bariatric Surgery Program Receives Center of Excellence Accreditation

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Adolfo “Fuzz” Fernandez and his team at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center’s Bariatric Surgery Program have been awarded a 3-year accreditation as an American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence, one of the field’s highest levels of recognition.

The ASMBS, a leader in research and development of weight loss surgery, promotes the delivery of bariatric surgical care with the highest levels of efficacy, efficiency, and patient safety. To qualify, the surgeon and hospital must meet stringent requirements. Surgeons must complete at least 50 bariatric surgeries per year with a minimum lifetime experience of 125 surgeries. In 2007, Fernandez performed 134 bariatric surgeries and is projected to complete 200 surgeries in 2008.

The Bariatric Surgery Program at Wake Forest University Baptist Medcial Center provides Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and gastric banding procedures to treat patient obesity by limiting the capacity for food intake. Fernandez also performs sleeve gastrectomies, procedures that create a long tube to restrict the stomach and reduce the amount of food a patient can consume. This procedure is recognized by the ASMBS but is still considered experimental.

Since the Bariatric Surgery Program began at Wake Forest Baptist in 2003, it has grown to include a nurse coordinator, dietitian, psychologist, patient registry manager, nurse practitioner and, most recently, a second surgeon.

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About Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center: Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Brenner Children’s Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine and Piedmont Triad Research Park. The system comprises 1,154 acute care, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and has been ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report since 1993. Wake Forest Baptist is ranked 32nd in the nation by America’s Top Doctors for the number of its doctors considered best by their peers. The institution ranks in the top third in funding by the National Institutes of Health and 4th in the Southeastern United States in revenues from its licensed intellectual property.

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