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University of Texas Medical Branch to Offer Bariatric Surgery at Island Campus

May 13, 2024, 11:39 AM by LOUIS PREJEAN The Daily News

The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston has been designated as a place where patients seeking surgical treatment for obesity and its related conditions can receive care at a nationally-accredited program.

Jennie Sealy Hospital, 301 University Blvd., is home to a Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program Center of Excellence, as approved by the American College of Surgeons.

There are no other metabolic and bariatric surgery programs in Galveston County, Carrie Cucco, metabolic and bariatric surgery coordinator, said.

“The successful outcome of this accreditation process took lots of teamwork and dedication across the metabolic and bariatric surgery program team and the institution as a whole,” Dr. Sarah Samreen, assistant professor and director of bariatric surgery at the medical branch said in a written statement.

The medical branch operated an accredited bariatric surgery program in the past and Dr. Sarah Samreen reestablished the program after she joined the organization in 2019 and started performing bariatric surgeries in 2020, Cucco said.

“Dr. Samreen has committed herself to building a comprehensive program that addresses the complex needs of patients with obesity,” Cucco said. “There is now a multidisciplinary team of surgeons, nurse practitioners, dietitians and nurses dedicated to improving the health of their patients.”

Patients in the program are seen at clinics in League City or Lake Jackson, Cucco said. Surgeries are performed at Jennie Sealy Hospital in Galveston.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates about 93 million adults in the United States are obese.

Obesity increases the risks of morbidity and mortality because of the diseases and conditions that are commonly associated with it, such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and cancer, among other health risks, according to hospital officials.

Metabolic and bariatric surgery has proven to be the most effective treatment in the reduction of obesity-related conditions, according to officials. The American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery developed accreditation standards for metabolic and bariatric surgery to assist patients with obesity in identifying centers that provide optimal patient care.

To receive the accreditation, the hospital’s bariatrics team underwent independent and voluntary peer evaluation in accordance with nationally-recognized bariatric surgical standards.

The hospital offers pre-operative and post-operative care designed specifically for patients with obesity.