New Credentialing Guidelines Issued for Surgeons Performing Bariatric Surgery

Published in July 2013 Issue             

New credentialing guidelines for surgeons performing bariatric surgery have been endorsed by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), American College of Surgeons (ACS), Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) and Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract (SSAT). The new guidelines are in press for publication in SOARD.

Over an 18-month period, a joint task force with representation from each of the four societies and the Michigan Bariatric Surgery Collaborative (MBSC), worked to consolidate existing guidelines that ASMBS, ACS and SAGES had each developed independently.

The result is a new set of recommended guidelines for local institutional credentialing bodies that "aim to ensure bariatric surgeons have undergone appropriate training and have achieved a certain minimum level of skill to safely perform bariatric surgery and to recognize and treat complications."

Some of the recommended requirements for bariatric surgeons include completion of an accredited general surgery residency, completion of an accredited bariatric surgery fellowship, participation within a structured bariatric program that provides or coordinates comprehensive, interdisciplinary care, commitment to use bariatric surgery clinical pathways and participation in MBSAQIP.

The guidelines also provide recommended criteria for surgeons with no or limited experience in bariatric surgery or advanced laparoscopy. Criteria include completion of a structured training curriculum in bariatric surgery and advanced laparoscopic surgery, completion of general surgery residency,

In addition, recommendations for maintenance and renewal of privileges include renewal at a minimum of every two years, maintenance of certification by the American Board of Surgery or its equivalent and demonstration of continued critical assessment of the surgeon's outcomes as determined by a periodic review of outcomes from an acceptable regional or national outcomes registry.