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Why UCSF for Bariatric Surgery?

MBSAQIP SealThe UCSF Bariatric Surgery Program is led by a multidisciplinary team of experienced surgeons and gastroenterology faculty supported by an outstanding group of medical professionals that that includes dietitians, nurse practitioners, nurses, and physician assistants. UCSF has earned the Blue Distinction for Bariatric Surgery  from Blue Shield of California and designated a Blue Cross "Center of Expertise Hospital for bariatric surgery.

Recently, UCSF has been accredited by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) as a Level 1 Accredited Bariatric Center (ACS BSCN). The American College of Surgeons Bariatric Surgery Center Network Accreditation Program (ACS BSCN) accredits facilities in the U.S. that have undergone an independent, voluntary and rigorous peer evaluation in accordance with nationally recognized bariatric surgical standards.

High Volume Center

Over the past four years, UCSF bariatric surgeons have performed more than seven hundred (700) surgical procedures, the vast majority of them done laparoscopically. This technique results in substantially reduced post-operative pain, fewer complications and risk of infection, a shorter hospital stay, and a faster return to normal activity.

Revisional Bariatric Surgery

UCSF bariatric surgeons can also alter or repair an unsuccessful operation performed at another institution. This is called revisional bariatric surgery and is generally more complex with a higher degree of risk than the initial operation. At UCSF, in the hands of skilled and experienced bariatric surgeons, revisional surgery can result in a repair of the earlier surgery with minimal risk.  

Milestones and Accomplishments

  • UCSF is accredited by the American College of Surgeons as a Level 1 Accredited Bariatric Center
  • UCSF has earned the Blue Distinction for Bariatric Surgery  from Blue Shield of California
  • UCSF scored high in the Blue Shield "Bariatric Quality Initiative Program
  •  UCSF has been designated a Blue Cross "Center of Expertise Hospital for bariatric surgery.  
  • UCSF bariatric surgeons perform a high volume of bariatric procedures per year
  • Operative mortality rate is  < .0.1 %
  • Re-operation rate is a low 3%
  • The majority of patients lose 50 to 70% of their excess weight during the year after surgery and maintain that loss.
  • 80-90% of patients experience an improvement or  cure of obesity associated diseases such as diabetes


Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery Program








Volume MeasureDefinitionBase Criteria
Bariatric Surgeries per Hospital Number of bariatric surgeries performed at UCSF Medical Center in a year


Bariatric Surgeries per Surgeon Number of bariatric surgeries performed by UCSF Bariatric Quality Initiative Designated Surgeons * in a year.


Outcomes MeasureDefinitionBase Criteria
Mortality Rate Percentage of patients undergoing bariatric surgery who died during hospitalization or within 30 days of surgery


Re-Admission and Re-Operation Rate Percentage of patients having bariatric surgery who were either re-admitted for related complications or required re-operation within hospitalization or within 30 days of surgery


Percentage of Excess Weight Lost Mean percentage of patients' excess body weight lost one (1) year after bariatric surgery calculated by the following formula:

E = (O-C)/(O-I)
E = % Excess body weight
C = Current Weight
O = Original Weight
I = Ideal Weight is 50%


Process MeasureDefinitionBase Criteria
Patient Follow-Up Percentage of patients that had follow-ups within one (1) year after bariatric surgery to assess health status and weight loss


Patient Management Plans Plans to manage the care of bariatric surgery patients including written patient evaluations, pre-surgical testing, critical pathways for inpatient care, written discharge instructions, and follow-up plans


Clinical Quality Improvement Process A quality improvement (QI) process specific to bariatric surgery that includes a multidisciplinary committee that meets regularly, QI audits, dedicated QI staff, outcomes review, and an annual process to review policies, procedures, and protocols


Program MeasureDefinitionBase Criteria
Bariatric Surgery Program Staff Comprehensive, multidisciplinary program staff with bariatric training or experience including a program director, program coordinator, psychologist or psychiatrist, nutritionist/dietitian, physical therapist, and nursing staff



Facilities and Equipment Facilities and equipment to accommodate obese patients including hospital beds, furniture, operating room table, CT scan, physical therapy equipment


Pre/Post Surgery Patient Support Programs Comprehensive pre/post surgery programs including patient selection criteria, pre-surgery screening, pre/post surgery patient education, nutritional/dietary education, psychological evaluation/ management, and patient support groups