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Hospital achieves renewed designation as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence®

New Britain [June 15 2011] - The Hospital of Central Connecticut (HOCC) recently achieved renewed designation as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence® by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

Renewed designation follows a rigorous program review of the hospital’s bariatric (weight loss) surgery program by the Surgical Review Corporation. The hospital received initial designation as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence in 2008.

HOCC bariatric surgeon Carlos Barba, M.D., medical director of the center’s bariatric surgery program, says renewed designation signifies that the program “continues to provide the highest quality of care for its patients.” This, he adds, is reflected through extensive bariatric surgery experience, staff members’ continuing education, state-of-the-art medical equipment, and a dedicated patient care unit. Barba is a designated ASMBS Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence surgeon at the hospital.

The review encompassed the hospital’s surgical weight loss program, surgical outcomes, staff who care for surgical weight loss patients, and facility provisions. Staff members include a clinical program coordinator, registered dietitians, behavioral psychologists, nurses, and clinical exercise physiologists.

Dino Costanzo, administrative director of Metabolic Services, says the successful review process and renewed designation highlights thoroughness of the program, which now distinguishes itself with a focus on metabolic services.

Bariatric Coordinator Paula O’Neil, R.N., B.S.N., CBN, says the metabolic focus integrates diabetes management, bone health, and exercise with weight loss services. O’Neil notes this comprehensive approach “helps us optimize a patient’s health before undergoing a surgical procedure as well as for the rest of their life.” For example, the hospital’s Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate is available for surgical candidates if diagnosed with diabetes during the program’s required medical evaluation. Surgical candidates also attend educational classes and are encouraged to attend an HOCC support group before and after surgery.

Since 2005, the hospital has offered bariatric surgery for patients who, among other criteria, are severely (morbidly) obese, have not achieved success using conventional medical weight loss methods, and have medical problem(s) caused by obesity. Severe obesity is defined as being at least 100 pounds over one’s ideal body weight, or having a body mass index above 40.

At the hospital, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy bariatric surgeries are offered. In 2010, the hospital conducted more than 300 bariatric surgical procedures. Obesity-related medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and reflux) often improve and are sometimes eliminated with weight loss after surgery.

With the Roux-en-Y surgical procedure, part of the stomach is stapled, leaving a small pouch that holds much less food; also, part of the small intestine is bypassed, reducing the area in which foods can be digested. Hospital stay is two to three days. With gastric banding, part of the stomach is banded to create a small pouch, reducing capacity to hold food. It is reversible and adjustable, and incurs a one-day hospital stay. Sleeve gastrectomy is an alternative to gastric banding for certain patients; the stomach is divided, and most of it is removed, leaving a small stomach that helps restrict amount of food eaten at one time.

The Center for Bariatric Surgery and Weigh Your Options is located at 11 South Road, Suite 130, Farmington. For information, please call 1-866-668-5070 or go to

Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence® is a registered trademark of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). Used by permission of ASMBS. All rights reserved.

Contact: Kimberly Gensicki, 860-224-5900, X6507

HCC Corporate Communications
(860) 224-5695 • Fax (860) 224-5779