Lompoc Valley Medical Center’s (LVMC) bariatric surgery program has been accredited as a Comprehensive Center by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP), a joint Quality Program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

Patients seeking surgical treatment for obesity and related conditions have a high-quality choice for receiving care from the nationally accredited program at LVMC, which meets the highest standards for patient safety and quality.

The MBSAQIP Standards, Optimal Resources for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, ensure metabolic and bariatric patients receive multidisciplinary medical care, which improves patient outcomes and long-term success.

MBSAQIP-accredited centers offer preoperative and postoperative care designed specifically for patients with obesity. LVMC’s program is led by Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery director Dr. Farida Bounoua, and bariatric surgeon Dr. Christopher Taglia.

“We are pleased to learn our Bariatric Surgery Program received its official accreditation as a Comprehensive Center by the MBSAQIP,” said Steve Popkin, LVMC CEO.

“This is the gold standard of accreditation and is a testament to the outstanding work done by bariatric surgeons, Dr. Taglia and Dr. Bounoua, as well as our excellent LVMC staff,” he said.

Dr. Bounoua said the accreditation is for a “safe and high standard of care, following rigorous pathways, aiming for excellent outcome.”

“To become an MBSQIP-accredited Comprehensive Center for Bariatric Surgery is a massive deal,” Dr. Taglia said. “It means that Lompoc Valley Medical Center is providing the Gold Standard of care when it comes to treating patients with obesity-related disease and performing weight loss surgery.

“I am enormously proud of the hard work put in by all the members of our team. Without them this would not be possible.”

Dr. Taglia said the work is not done, however. “Every day my goal is to improve the care we provide even more, so that we can keep the members of this community healthy.”

To earn MBSAQIP Accreditation, LVMC met essential criteria for staffing, training, facility infrastructure, and patient care pathways, ensuring its ability to support patients with obesity. The center also participates in a national data registry that yields semiannual reports on the quality of its surgical outcomes and identifying opportunities for quality improvement.

During its MBSAQIP Accreditation, LVMC underwent an extensive review by an experienced bariatric surgeon who evaluated the center’s structure, processes, and clinical outcomes data. LVMC’s accreditation was awarded for a specific designation level, based on how many patients it serves annually, critical care capabilities, the types of procedures provided, and whether it provides care to patients under the age of 18.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 93 million adults in the U.S. are affected by obesity and that number continues to increase. The disease of obesity increases the risks of morbidity and mortality because of the diseases and conditions that are commonly associated with it, such as type II diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, among other health risks.

Metabolic and bariatric surgery has proven to be effective in the reduction of comorbid conditions related to obesity.