Press releases

Bariatric surgery program earns national accreditation

Release Date: 10/14/2014

        The University of New Mexico Sandoval Regional Medical Center (SRMC) Bariatric Surgery Center recently received accreditation under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program. The accreditation demonstrates the surgery center’s commitment to delivering the highest quality care for its bariatric surgery patients, hospital officials said.

        Accredited bariatric surgery centers provide both the hospital resources necessary for optimal care of morbidly obese patients and the support and resources necessary to address the entire spectrum of care and needs of bariatric patients, both pre- and postoperatively.

        UNM SRMC in Rio Rancho has partnered with Optum Bariatrics to create and maintain the new center. With its beds, stretchers, operating room tables, furniture and imaging equipment, the center offers bariatric surgery patients a healthcare environment sensitive to and considerate of their needs. Doctors Ryan Tyner and Lilibeth Sanchez-Geswaldo of Optum specialize in minimally invasive surgical approaches for the following procedures:

  • Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass – This laparoscopic procedure involves making the stomach smaller and altering the digestion process. The stomach is “stapled” to make a small pouch that can only hold small portions of food, allowing patients to feel satisfied and full with less food. The stomach is then reconnected farther down the small intestine, allowing food to bypass the remaining stomach and a small portion of the small intestine. This “bypass” leads to reduced absorption of calories and nutrients in the body.
  • Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy – A restrictive weight loss procedure where a large portion of the stomach is removed laparoscopically, allowing patients to feel satisfied and full with less food.
  • Adjustable Gastric Banding – A laparoscopic procedure where an adjustable prosthetic band (Lap-Band®) is placed around the upper part of the stomach, creating a small pouch that can only hold a limited amount of food. The adjustable band can be tightened by injecting saline into a small port under the skin of the abdominal wall, which fills the band and makes it tighter and it can be loosened by removing the saline.

        According to the Naitonal Institutes of Health, some 15.5 million people nationally suffer from severe obesity. Metabolic and bariatric surgical procedures have proven to be effective in the reduction of comorbid conditions related to severe obesity such as type II diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.

About the American College of Surgeons

         The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational association of surgeons founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical education and practice and to improve the quality of care for the surgical patient. Its achievements have placed it at the forefront of American surgery and have made the college an important advocate for all surgical patients.

About the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery

        The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, was formed to advance the art and science of metabolic and bariatric surgery by continually improving the quality and safety of care and treatment of people with obesity and related diseases.


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