I have enjoyed working in the bariatric surgery field since the late 90s, and our group was a pioneer in performing bariatric surgery in Southern Brazil. Our practice, the GECOM (Obesity and Metabolic’s Surgeries Study Group) has always sought to be fully informed and up to date with the latest surgery techniques and certifications and has worked to create an optimally qualified staff. GECOM performed one of the first gastric bypass surgery by laparoscopy in May 2001.
In 2011, we began SRC’s Center of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery, and at that time, the Hospital Ernesto Donelles of Porto Alegre/RS, Brazil started an internal qualification process to become a Center of Excellence. GECOM and the full bariatric team at the Hospital Ernesto Dornelles were motivated by this designation to enhance our knowledge about bariatric surgery and to improve our outcomes.
In April 2012, Dr Neil Hutcher performed a site inspection at the GECOM practice as well as at Hospital Ernesto Dornelles, and in 3 months we received our first certification as a Center of Excellence.
Since then, our surgery volume has doubled (to about 400 surgeries/year), and an 8 bed exclusive wing of our hospital will soon be dedicated solely for bariatric surgery patients, demonstrating our great institutional commitment to bariatric surgery.
Dr. Gabriel Vargas
COEMBS Designated Surgeon, Bariatric Coordinator
Hospital Ernesto Dornelles
Porto Alegre, Brazil