Connecticut Children’s bariatric surgery program is the first and only pediatric program in Connecticut awarded national accreditation by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP): the combined accreditation program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American College for Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). The highly prestigious recognition designates Connecticut Children’s as an MBSAQIP Adolescent Center, making Connecticut Children’s bariatric surgeons and clinical staff the most qualified and up-to-date in surgically treating children with metabolic disorders.

“We are incredibly honored by this designation and look forward to serving more of the region’s children and adolescents seeking nationally-ranked weight management solutions as a result,” CT Children’s Surgeon-in-Chief, Christine Finck, MD, said.

MBSAQIP maintains vigorous standards for accreditation. Hospitals and programs seeking accreditation must undergo months of staff and clinical training, perform greater than 15 procedures annually and are subject to site visits by MBSAQIP-recognized bariatric surgeons. Site surveyors specifically check for procedural safety, equipment capabilities and quality of care, such as the use of sensitive vocabulary like “bariatric gown” instead of “large gown.”

Connecticut Children’s has been successfully performing gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy procedures in youth ages ten and older since 2008, having completed procedures in over 40 patients to date.

Patients are selected as candidates for these types of procedures after extensive preparation by Connecticut Children’s bariatric program’s clinical and psychological support staff, and in many cases, after the patient has participated in the program’s other non-invasive weight management options. After the procedure, patients remain in the program through the Bariatric Support Group where nutrition, exercise, and other concerns related to bariatric surgery with both staff and other patients are discussed.

According to the most recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports, pediatric obesity has nearly tripled since the 1970s — with one in five school aged children and youth now living with clinical obesity. Connecticut Children’s Obesity & Weight Management Center supports parents, patients and pediatric primary care providers through nationally recognized and accredited clinical and behavioral resources to manage a variety of metabolic disorders

“Our program prides itself in its patient-first approach,” Melissa Santos, PhD, Clinical Director of the Obesity Center, said. “The patients that enter our program often face bullying or self-esteem issues in their journey towards optimal health. Connecticut Children’s offers more than the programs and procedures for weight loss – we offer a community where every patient can feel confident in who they are.”



Connecticut Children’s is the only hospital in Connecticut dedicated exclusively to the care of children and ranked one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and a Magnet® designated hospital. Connecticut Children’s provides more than 30 pediatric specialties along with community-based programs to uniquely care for the physical, social, and emotional needs of children. Our team of pediatric experts and care coordinators bring access to breakthrough research, advanced treatments for both rare and common diseases, and innovative health and safety programs to every child. Connecticut Children’s is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to improve access to healthcare for all children through convenient locations, care alliances and partnerships.