The History of Barix Clinics

Barix Clinics® / Bariatric Treatment Centers®  Formed in 1992

Bariatric Treatment Centers was formed in 1992, shortly after the issuance of the National Institutes of Health Consensus Statement. Bariatric Treatment Centers was organized to specialize in bariatric surgery using the NIH-endorsed procedures, and also to provide the comprehensive program recommended by the NIH. In 2004, Bariatric Treatment Centers changed names to Barix Clinics. For twenty years the Bariatric Treatment Centers / Barix Clinics weight loss surgery program has consistently followed the NIH recommendations and for twenty years has been the nation’s leading hospital provider of weight loss surgery.


NIH National Consensus Statement Endorsing Bariatric Surgery

Weight loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, has been performed for more than thirty years.  In 1992 the US National Institute of Health hosted a medical conference from which they published the NIH Consensus Statement, endorsing two weight loss surgery procedures, the vertical banded gastroplasty and the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure, as being effective in the treatment of morbid obesity. The NIH Consensus Statement marked the beginning of modern bariatric surgery, because this body of medical experts reviewed the various weight loss procedures being performed and determined that the scientifically-proven effectiveness of the gastric bypass and VBG merited their endorsement. In addition they recommended a comprehensive program for bariatric patients, including nutritional counseling and long-term medical follow-up.

Gastric Bypass Procedure Becomes Most Popular Procedure

Prior to 1994 more than 75%, or 3 out of every 4, bariatric surgeries performed were vertical banded gastroplasties (VBG) and less than 25%, or 1 out of 4, surgeries were Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (gastric bypass) procedures. The VBG was the more popular because the surgical techniques of that time made the VBG a much simpler procedure than the gastric bypass. In 1993 a VBG could be completed in 2 to 3 hours whereas a gastric bypass procedure often took more than 5 hours. The length of surgery, especially any surgery time greater than 2 hours, increases the risk of surgery significantly.  The duration of surgery even today is a major patient risk factor. The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass was a more difficult procedure and it had a higher risk for leaks, which in turn could cause sepsis and death.

At the 1994 National Bariatric Conference in Iowa City Dr. Mason, the inventor of the VBG procedure, reported long-term weight-loss statistics using data from the National Bariatric Registry. In his presentation, Dr. Mason analyzed the VBG versus the gastric bypass, comparing short-term and long-term weight-loss performance. Dr. Mason reported that both procedures had comparable initial weight loss results, but that the gastric bypass had superior long-term results; in fact, the VBG had a statistically-significant higher surgical failure rate.  As a result of these findings, over the next few years the percentage of patients having gastric bypass surgery increased dramatically and the number of VBG surgeries declined, to the point that more than 90% of  weight loss surgeries performed in the US  were gastric bypass procedures.

Barix Clinics Leadership in Gastric Bypass Innovations

As more gastric bypass procedures were performed, new techniques were developed, allowing the procedure to be completed with a much lower risk of patient complications. Barix Clinics and its associated surgeons initiated a national medical review board where surgeons along with other nationally recognized experts met quarterly to discuss and propose new surgical techniques and protocols to reduce the risks of bariatric surgery.  One such improvement reduced surgery time from 5 hours to 1 hour. Other innovations increased the safety of the procedure by reducing the incidence of leaks and other complications.

Barix Clinics Rated Number 1 in Patient Outcomes Data

The Barix Clinics network of bariatric hospitals has performed more surgeries than any other organization in the United States, and all patient outcome statistics are tracked and analyzed using an integrated, computerized patient outcomes tracking system. Independent healthcare quality groups have compiled multiple years of this patient data and their published conclusions show that the Barix Clinics weight loss surgery program has the best patient outcomes by a significant margin over every other program. In addition, over this time period patient complication ratios have improved significantly as a result of the new ideas and techniques developed by the Barix Clinics network of hospitals and bariatric specialists.

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