Skinny on Fat Ops at N.Y. Hospitals

November 13, 2006


By Carl Campanile, New York Post

When it comes to cutting the fat, two city hospitals are tops, a survey found.

NYU Medical Center and New York Presbyterian Hospital received the highest rating, five stars, for successful bariatric surgery performed on severely obese patients, according to the first such survey on the procedure, released today.

Harlem Hospital and St. Vincent's Medical Center received the lowest rating - one star.

Hospitals receiving three stars - about the national average - were St. Luke's Roosevelt, Lenox Hill, Mount Sinai, Beth Israel and North General.

The report - conducted by the medical watchdog group HealthGrades - covers gastric bypass or gastric lap band surgeries performed from 2002 to 2004.

Researchers, who took into account patient risk levels, such as age and heart problems, found that patients in the five-star hospitals were 66 percent less likely to develop a medical complication following surgery compared to a one-star hospital.

It also noted that hospitals with the highest volume of bariatric surgeries tended to score higher than hospitals that performed fewer of the stomach-shrinking procedures.

During the three-year period, NYU's Tisch Hospital performed 327 surgeries. And NY Presbyterian's two major surgery centers at Columbia and Cornell reported a combined 641 surgeries.