In order to achieve 3 main objectives:
A) To offer advice to institutions and surgeons worldwide regarding the requirements when beginning bariatric surgery, in order to proceed with an acceptable degree of safety, efficiency and effectiveness. In other words, to prepare new centres (Primary Bariatric Institutions - PBI) willing to be involved in the treatment of epidemic obesity, ensuring a safety level and thus decreasing risks during early surgical experience in the severely obese patient group. This effort is equally important as the upgrading of the existing centres to Centres of Excellence (COE), taking into account the number of surgeons and centres required to treat the ever-growing number of obese individuals. Unfortunately, due to the enormous demand for bariatric surgery, many surgeons are entering into bariatric surgical practice without or with limited training and experience in inadequate or under-equipped institutions. A clear definition of the minimum requirements fοr surgeons and institutions before accepting bariatric patients would, therefore, be of tremendous importance for the safety of obese patients seeking medical attention.
B) To advise existing Bariatric Institutions (ΒΙ) already providing surgical treatment for morbidly and super obese patients on how to improve the quality of their services offered to the severely obese patients, thereby ensuring highly efficient and safe management. Bariatric procedures particularly in the super and super-super obese patients or revisional surgery, requires accumulated surgical experience, completely equipped institutions with full in-house consultative services, specializing in the care of bariatric patients, including intensive care services. It is IFSO's responsibility to precisely define both surgeons' credentials and institutional facilities for performing advanced bariatric surgery.
C) To advise existing bariatric institutions to upgrade their status to level of excellence (Centre of Excellence Bariatric Institution - COEBI), thus optimising patient outcomes. This mission does not aim to limit the bariatric centres to a few academic or specialized institutions. On the contrary, IFSO accepts that an enormous demand exists for bariatric facilities and that there are far more patients in need of surgical intervention for weight loss or metabolic disorders than the existing centres can currently cope with. The aim of establishing IFSO Centres of Excellence is, therefore, to further improve the quality of bariatric service treatment, with increased emphasis on safe, efficacious and efficient patient care. This result would also help the public, health care providers, government and other payers to further trust and support the bariatric surgical community in its difficult task dedicated to optimal surgical management of severely obese patients.
IFSO has prepared guidelines for safety, quality and excellence in Bariatric Surgery.
See the official document which was approved at the IFSO Council Meeting in Porto, Portugal, September 4, 2007 and published at Obesity Surgery Journal.