Bariatric program earns 5-stars, ranks in top 5% – for a fifth year

For a fifth consecutive year, Fresno Heart & Surgical Hospital has received Healthgrades® Bariatric Surgery Excellence Award and a five-star rating, placing it among the top 5% nationwide for metabolic and bariatric surgery.

“A recognition like this and the numerous others bestowed upon the hospital over the past few years does not ‘just happen’,” said Wanda Holderman, chief executive officer of the hospital. “It is rather because of the highly skilled, credentialed and capable staff and physicians working closely to follow evidenced-based practice and proven methods. The hospital recognizes these esteemed designations of Healthgrades rating agency as worthy to strive for. The hospital leadership is committed to devoting the resources necessary to further excel.”

The Healthgrades five-star rating gives patients comfort and confidence choosing a hospital and surgeons; bariatric surgery patients have a nearly 71% lower risk of experiencing complications while in the hospital and go home a half day sooner on average at top-rated hospitals compared to 1-star rated hospitals. Those were the findings from the “Healthgrades 2013 Bariatric Surgery Report: Your Choices Influence Your Outcome,” which analyzed data from 204,069 bariatric surgeries from 467 hospitals.

“Recent data on obesity prevalence in the U.S. shows that more than one-third, or roughly 78 million Americans are now obese. For those consumers considering bariatric surgery the Healthgrades report underscores the importance of understanding all of one’s treatment options and the need to select a hospital accordingly,” said Evan Marks, EVP of clinical informatics at Healthgrades. “The Healthgrades 2013 Bariatric Surgery Award recipients have demonstrated exceptional performance and a dedicated approach when it comes to bariatric care.”

Fresno Heart & Surgical is the only 5-star bariatric program in the Fresno area and is the highest volume center in the state other than Kaiser. Internationally recognized for quality and innovation, surgeons from all over the world visit Fresno Heart and Surgical Hospital to observe surgical procedures or participate in one of many educational programs sponsored by ALSA Medical Group.

“It is only because of our unique collaboration with an institution that understands the importance of our mission that we are able to achieve the superior outcomes indicative of this award” said Dr. Kelvin Higa, director of Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery at the hospital. 

In addition to causing significant long-term weight loss, bariatric surgery has been shown to control common complications of obesity, including type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. These benefits improve patients’ quality of life and overall health, and reduce their risk of heart disease, stroke, and early death.

Erin Kennedy reported this story. She can be reached at MedWatchToday@CommunityMedical.org.