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Houston Northwest Medical Center's Bariatric Program Rated Top 15% in the Nation by HealthGrades

HOUSTON, July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study from HealthGrades, an independent healthcare ratings organization, finds that Houston Northwest Medical Center has received a Five-Star Rating and has been rated among the top 15% of hospitals nationwide for Bariatric Surgery in 2009/2010.

HealthGrades today released The HealthGrades Fourth Annual Bariatric Surgery Trends in American Hospitals Study, which analyzes patient outcomes for the most common weight loss procedures including gastric bypass, less invasive laparoscopic procedures including gastric banding, malabsorbtive procedures and combined malabsorbtive/restrictive procedures. The study found that wide gaps in patient outcomes for bariatric surgery exist. If all hospitals performed at the level of a Five-Star rated hospital, 4,510 patients could have potentially avoided one or more major inhospital complications from 2005 to 2007.

"Striving to provide the highest possible standards for bariatric patients through surgical expertise and patient care is important to improving quality throughout the industry and building a healthier community," says Terry Kirk, chief nursing officer at Houston Northwest Medical Center.

Houston Northwest is one of only 88 hospitals in the 19 states studied identified as a "top" performer (five-star rated), with mortality rates, complication rates and patient lengths of stay that are dramatically lower than poorly rated hospitals. The hospital is one of only 15 hospitals in the state of Texas to receive a Five-Star rating for Bariatric Surgery treatment this year.

"Houston Northwest Medical Center is proud to be recognized as a Five Star rated hospital," says Philip Leggett, MD, co-medical director of the bariatric surgery program and bariatric surgeon on the medical staff at Houston Northwest Medical Center.

"The bariatric surgery program at Houston Northwest Medical Center is a comprehensive program designed for patients suffering from morbid obesity who want to improve their health," says Dexter Turnquest, MD, co-medical director of the bariatric surgery program and bariatric surgeon on the medical staff at Houston Northwest Medical Center.

Other findings identified in the study include:

  • Bariatric surgery patients treated at five-star rated hospitals have, on average a 67 percent lower chance of experiencing serious complications compared to patients who receive treatment at poorly rated hospitals.
  • Patients had a three times higher risk of dying with a bariatric surgery if they had it performed at a one-star hospital versus a five-star hospital.
  • Patients having surgery at five-star hospitals spent, on average, more than half a day less in the hospital (2.15 days) compared to patients having surgery in one-star hospitals (2.72 days).
  • The number of inpatient procedures during the study years 2005 through 2007 showed no increase, but an increasing percentage of surgeries are being performed outpatient.
  • Laparospcopic bariatric surgery procedures account for 79% of all procedures, up from 54% in last year's study.
  • Of the 19 states studies, over 61% of all procedures were performed in five states: New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, California and Florida.

"Because of the wide gap in quality outcomes we see in bariatric surgery centers in the United States, we recommend that every patient contemplating this life-changing surgery do their homework and research the quality of the centers at which they are thinking about having surgery," said Rick May, MD, a senior physician consultant with HealthGrades and a co-author of the study. "The hospitals designated as five-star recipients have put processes in place to achieve this exceptional quality."

For this study, HealthGrades analyzed 153,355 bariatric procedures performed in the years 2005, 2006 and 2007. The states included in the study are: Arizona, California, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

The full study and individual hospital ratings for bariatric surgery and other procedures can be found at

About Houston Northwest Medical Center

Houston Northwest Medical Center is located at 710 F.M. 1960 West in Houston. Houston Northwest Medical Center has been serving the North Houston community for 35 years. The hospital is an Accredited Chest Pain Center by the Society of Chest Pain Centers. Houston Northwest Medical Center ranks among the nation's top hospitals for several service lines including critical care, stroke and general surgery by HealthGrades, an independent health care ratings company. Houston Northwest Medical Center is also a designated Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. To learn more about Houston Northwest Medical Center, a facility accredited by The Joint Commission, visit

    Media Contacts:
    Contact: Theresa Lewis
    Houston Northwest Medical Center
    (281) 440-2444
    Scott Shapiro
    (720) 963-6584

SOURCE Houston Northwest Medical Center
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