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Minerva Chir. 2009 Jun;64(3):239-52.

Safety, quality and excellence in bariatric surgery.

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  • 1Department of Surgical Oncology, Heraklion University Hospital, Medical School, University of Crete, Crete, Greece.


The prevalence of obesity has increased three-fold in the past two decades. In Europe, 150.000.000 adults and 15.000.000 children are currently affected and obesity epidemic is responsible for approximately 1,000,000 deaths annually. Bariatric surgery for the severely obese has resulted in an overall of 61% weight reduction, across all procedures and has been shown to ameliorate or significantly improve many of the obesity-related comorbidities. Surgery is a serious intervention with procedural risks. Safety, quality and efficacy of the service offered to the morbidly obese patients, from both surgeons and hospitals are therefore, of outmost importance, to ensure optimal outcome of the surgical intervention, with the lowest possible risk for complications and mortality. An institution that can be certified by an independent organization, as capable to undertake the management of morbidly obese patients with outstanding results, is a Centre of Excellence (COE) in Bariatric and Metabolic surgery. The International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO) has described the requirements for both surgeons and institutions in order to offer outstanding bariatric surgical management and, therefore, to become Centres of Excellence. European Accreditation Council for Bariatric Surgery (EAC-BS) is an independent organization, established by IFSO officials and leading bariatric surgeons in Europe, for quality control in bariatric surgery and data collection and analysis. Surgeons and institutions fulfilling the requirements and willing to become a Centre of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery may apply to the EAC-BS for evaluation. The creation of a European network of COEs will be of great value in promoting safety, quality and excellence in bariatric and metabolic surgery.

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