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A Gain for Weight-Loss Surgery

Bariatric surgeons, from left, Tom Magnuson, Kimberly Steele, Anne Lidor, Michele Shermak and Michael Schweitzer.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Surgery at Bayview has been designated a Bariatric Center of Excellence. The designation was awarded by the American Society for Bariatric Surgery following a detailed site inspection in which all aspects of the program were evaluated.

“Being named a Center of Excellence assures our patients that we have a program with a demonstrated track record of superior outcomes,” says program director Thomas Magnuson. “It recognizes the safety, efficiency and overall positive surgical results of our multidisciplinary team.”

A weight-loss operation for the severely obese, bariatric surgery reshapes the gastrointestinal tract to limit the intake and absorption of calories. There are several surgical options available to patients at the Hopkins center, including banding of the stomach and a procedure called the Roux-en-y gastric bypass. 

To qualify for bariatric surgery, patients must have a body mass index of 40 or greater, or 35 or greater with co-morbidities such as hypertension, sleep apnea or diabetes. (Body mass index, or BMI, is a method of calculating the degree of excess weight.) Patients must generally be at least 100 pounds overweight.

The Hopkins specialists have operated on patients weighing more than 700 pounds. Patients in the comprehensive program must participate in educational programs on dietary modification and exercise.

“We are equipped to perform bariatric surgery on very high-risk patients who might otherwise be denied,” says Magnuson. “As a leader in ongoing research, teaching and clinical care, we can meet our patients’ many complex needs.”

Sixteen surgeries were performed when the center opened in 1997. Since then, the numbers have steadily increased to 338 surgeries in FY 2006.

Nationwide, 215 hospitals have been recognized as bariatric centers of excellence; four, including the Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Surgery, are in Maryland.

Lydia Levis Bloch



Johns Hopkins Medicine

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