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Format: 04/23/2014
Format: 04/23/2014


HealthGrades Ranks West Penn Bariatric Surgery Center #1 in Pennsylvania for 4th Consecutive Year

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

West Penn Hospital one of just 48 in the nation to receive HealthGrades 2010/2011 Bariatric Surgery Excellence Award™

PITTSBURGH (May 26, 2010) – West Penn Hospital has been ranked #1 in Pennsylvania for weight-loss surgery for the fourth year in a row, according to a new study issued today by HealthGrades, the leading independent healthcare ratings organization.

West Penn Hospital (WPH) is also one of only 48 hospitals in the nation to receive the 2010/2011 Bariatric Surgery Excellence Award™ from HealthGrades. The hospital also has been 5-Star rated by HealthGrades, and ranked among the top five percent nationally, for five consecutive years.

Daniel J. Gagne, MD, FACS, FASMBS, Director of the West Penn Bariatric Surgery Center, along with Jorge E. Urbandt, MD, FACS, work with certified physician assistants, psychologists, dietitians, and other employees to ensure that patients receive the most comprehensive care available. Drs. Gagné and Urbandt perform laparoscopic bariatric procedures, including gastric bypass, adjustable banding procedures, and revisional weight loss surgery.

Patients undergoing weight-loss surgery at 5-star rated hospitals such as West Penn experienced, on average, 43 percent fewer complications at average-rated hospitals. While inhospital mortality is generally an uncommon complication, patients had, on average, a four times higher risk of dying if they had a bariatric surgery performed at 1-star rated hospitals compared to 5-star rated hospitals. Patients having surgery at five-star rated hospitals also spent almost a half-day less in the hospital than patients having surgery at one-star rated hospitals.

“We congratulate Dr. Gagne, Dr. Urbandt and the entire team at West Penn Bariatric Surgery Center on this extraordinary accomplishment,” said Gregory H. Burfitt, President and CEO of West Penn Hospital. “Earning the No. 1 ranking in Pennsylvania from HealthGrades for four years in a row is a testimony to their skill and dedication.”
“Seeing patients’ health and outlook on life improve after weight-loss surgery is the most gratifying part of our jobs,” Dr. Gagne said. “We are proud to see our care for patients reflected in this No. 1 ranking from HealthGrades.”

West Penn Bariatric Surgery Center was also recently re-accredited by the Bariatric Surgery Center Network (BSCN) Accreditation Program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). In addition, The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery has named West Penn a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association designated West Penn Bariatric Center a Blue Distinction Center. Other health insurers, including Health America, United Resource Network and Cigna have all named it a Center of Excellence for bariatric surgery.

Drs. Gagné and Urbandt are leaders in the field, having performed more than 2,000 surgeries. They have also published 50 papers and book chapters on weight loss surgery and have given more than 120 presentations nationally and throughout the world.

The fifth annual HealthGrades Bariatric Surgery Trends in American Hospitals Study is the largest annual study of its kind. The study of objective patient outcomes evaluated all hospitals in 19 states over the years 2006, 2007 and 2008 using data obtained from state governments. Hospitals could not choose whether or not to participate in the study. In all, nearly 200,000 surgeries were evaluated for major inhospital complication rates at the 481 hospitals (out of more than 2,500) that performed weight-loss surgeries in sufficient enough volumes to be rated.

Bariatric surgery can produce dramatic weight loss among the morbidly obese, who comprise about five percent of the national population according to the Centers for Disease Control. In many cases, individuals undergoing the procedure lose the equivalent of one-third of their body weight or more. Weight-loss surgery has also been shown, in the morbidly obese, to significantly improve or cure a variety of major health problems including diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea.

“This study shows, quite dramatically, that for bariatric surgery, it is important for patients to evaluate hospitals using objective information as they make their choice,” said Rick May, MD, a vice president with HealthGrades and a co-author of the study.

The fifth annual HealthGrades Bariatric Surgery Trends in American Hospitals Study is available at www.healthgrades.com.



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