Pacific Bariatric Surgical Medical Group Designated as Center of Excellence

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American Society for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS) and Surgical Review Corporation (SRC) cite the San Diego center's record of success.

Pacific Bariatric Surgical Medical Group (PBSMG - and Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego have been designated as a Bariatric Center of Excellence by the ASBS and the SRC. This prestigious designation also includes PBSMG surgeons Leo Murphy, M.D.; Eugene Rumsey, M.D; Laurence Tanaka, M.D.; and George Zorn, M.D.

As with any operation, there are risks to having gastric bypass surgery. However, these risks can be greatly minimized by proper, and necessary, changes in lifestyle both before and after the surgery. In addition, the American Society for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS) and Surgical Review Corporation (SRC) have begun designating Centers of Excellence throughout the nation in an effort to recognize bariatric surgery programs with a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 64 percent of all U.S. adults are overweight or obese. Morbid obesity is closely correlated with a number of serious conditions that severely undermine the health of overweight patients, including heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Divided gastric bypass surgery is widely accepted as the most effective surgical weight-loss treatment available and is considered the gold standard to alleviate severe obesity. In California alone, bariatric surgical procedures increased 40 percent between 2002 and 2003. The Center of Excellence designation serves as an important tool to identify hospitals, surgical groups and physicians with a consistent record of efficient and appropriate procedures with excellent short- and long-term outcomes.

“We believe the ASBS Center of Excellence program and our designation will serve as a catalyst, driving our very strong program to even greater success,” said Tom Gammiere, chief executive, Scripps Mercy Hospital.

The ASBS is the largest society in the world for the bariatric surgical specialty. It was founded in 1983 in order to advance the art and science of bariatric surgery by continued encouragement of its members to pursue investigations in both the clinic and the laboratory; interchange ideas, information and experience pertaining to bariatric surgery; promote guidelines for ethical patient selection and care; develop educational programs for physicians, paramedical persons and lay people; and promote outcome studies and quality assurance.

The SRC is an organization dedicated to pursuing surgical excellence, and it was established to promote the delivery of bariatric surgical care with the highest levels of efficacy, efficiency and safety.

Surgeons at Pacific Bariatric have performed almost 9,000 procedures on adult and adolescent patients at Scripps Mercy Hospital. As a result of outstanding aftercare programs and support groups, patients at Pacific Bariatric see a success rate of slightly higher than the national average.

Pacific Bariatric Surgical Medical Group and Scripps Mercy Hospital are nationally designated by the American Society for Bariatric Surgery as a Center of Excellence for bariatric surgery. Pacific Bariatric Surgical Medical Group, also known as Hillcrest Surgical Medical Group, Inc., has an 80-year tradition of surgical excellence and leadership in San Diego County. Scripps Mercy Hospital has been a health care leader in San Diego County for 115 years, offering patients an unparalleled continuum of care. For more information, visit

Established in 1890 by the Sisters of Mercy, Scripps Mercy Hospital serves the San Diego and Chula Vista communities. With 700 licensed beds, more than 3,000 employees and 1,300 physicians, Scripps Mercy Hospital is San Diego’s longest established and only Catholic medical center. With two campuses, Scripps Mercy Hospital is the largest hospital in San Diego County and one of the 10 largest in California. For more information, visit


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Kristin Reinhardt