The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) is currently the largest society in the country dedicated to the specialty of weight loss surgery. Its work is critical in a country where two in every three adults are obese and child nutrition is a great concern. While there are numerous medically supervised weight loss programs, surgery is an appealing option for patients who struggle to lose weight with dietary alterations and physical activity alone.

Bariatric surgery is the name given to surgical procedures designed to help people lose weight through the limitation of food intake. This is accomplished by the reduction of the stomach’s capacity and size, causing malabsorption of calories — an effective approach to weight loss in cases of severe or morbid obesity. Due to improvements and advancements to the procedures, it is now possible for surgeons to perform weight loss surgery using minimally invasive techniques.

History and Mission of the ASMBS

The society was created in 1983 by American surgeons to improve medical education and support programs for both surgeons and integrated health. Ever since, the founders have been able to transform it into a top organization focused on improving “public health and well being by lessening the burden of the disease of obesity and related diseases throughout the world,” as stated by the ASMBS. Its main purpose is to advance the art and science of metabolic and bariatric surgery.

In order to do so, the ASMBS continually works to improve the quality and safety of care and treatment of obesity. Therefore, the society is focused on advancing the science of metabolic and bariatric surgery and increase public understanding of obesity, fostering collaboration between health professionals on obesity and related diseases, providing leadership in metabolic and bariatric surgery the multidisciplinary management of obesity, advocating for health care policy that ensures patient access to prevention and treatment of obesity, and serving the educational needs of the members, public and other professionals.

ASMBS’ Leaders and Members

John Morton, MD, Director of Bariatric Surgery at Stanford University Hospital & Clinics, and Chief of Bariatric Surgery at Stanford University Medical Center, currently serves as ASMBS President, while the ASMBS President-Elect is Raul Rosenthal, MD, Chairman of the Department of General Surgery at Cleveland Clinic Florida.

In addition, Ninh T. Nguyen, MD is the Immediate-Past President, Stacy Brethauer, MD is the Secretary/Treasurer, and Georgeann Mallory, RD the Executive Director. The society also includes about 4,000 members, which includes general surgeons and integrated healthcare professionals practicing in the field of metabolic and bariatric surgery.

Resources of the of the ASMBS

The ASMBS offers a series of resources focused on education and awareness for both professionals and patients. One of the most prominent resources is its official scientific journal, the Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases (SOARD). The monthly international publication includes peer-reviewed manuscripts with objective data on techniques of the treatment of severe obesity. It can be read by anyone, but it is meant for professionals.

The tool kits are available for physicians, while the awards are use to distinguish remarkable work in the field and support new research. In addition, the ASMBS also contacts with its members through emails, which include announcements and news from ASMBS, about topics like educational events, grant offers, the monthly SOARD Journal Club.

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