The Weight Management Clinics (Endocrinology) work with you to help you reach a healthy weight — and to help relieve health complications that result from being overweight. Because excess weight so often brings with it other health complications — such as diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea — the specialists at the Weight Management Clinics use a team approach to carefully evaluate you and craft a plan that will lead to success.
The clinics (part of the Medical Weight Loss and Bariatric Surgery Program) are an appropriate option for anyone who is significantly overweight, especially individuals who are obese and struggle with other health issues, such as high blood pressure or cholesterol, diabetes or thyroid disorders. We encourage you to check with your health insurance plan to see what coverage your plan provides for treating obesity.
Weight Management Clinic Process
The Weight Management Clinics offer a variety of individualized obesity management plans. The focus is on basic weight management strategies, management of other health conditions and a comprehensive approach involving education, tools and guidance.
The first step on your journey toward weight loss and better health starts with a discussion of your weight loss goals and an intensive evaluation with one of our endocrinologists. The purpose of the evaluation is to assess your health history and any lifestyle or known genetic factors that may influence your weight.
The team of specialists (which also includes a dietitian, exercise physiologist, physical therapist and behavioral therapist or psychologist) conducts a complete medical, dietary and activity history to uncover factors that may have contributed to weight gain. Looking beyond obesity itself, the team screens for complications of obesity such as hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol problems and sleep apnea. If these conditions are present, the team treats them as well.
Depending on the results of the evaluation, the physician and patient work together to establish weight loss goals. Each patient receives a personalized treatment plan that tackles weight loss from a number of different angles.
Our weight loss experts address overweight and obesity from all angles to give you the best chance at success. We’ll work closely with you to make sure you understand your treatment plan and the reasoning behind it, so that you are comfortable committing to it fully.
To support individual weight loss goals, each patient receives a personalized treatment plan that may include:
- Nutritional recommendations, education, eating strategies
- Activity adjustments
- Lifestyle modification
- Psychotherapy or behavioral therapy
- Management of medications and appetite suppressants
The treatment period ranges from one to three years, depending on patients’ degree of motivation and concurrent health conditions.
We are committed to helping patients achieve success in their weight loss pursuits and stand ready to help you make the challenging changes that will lead to permanent weight loss. If one approach is not sufficient, we will try different approaches until we find the answer that is right for you.
For some patients, the evaluation determines that bariatric (weight loss) surgery will be the most effective means of achieving weight loss goals, and we refer to one of the surgeons in our Bariatric Surgery Program. Bariatric surgery is not for everyone; patients must meet specific requirements to be eligible for this surgery.
Role of Different Specialists
Because we are part of an academic medical center, patients have access to a complete range of specialists, so we can make sure we’re addressing all health conditions appropriately.
Patients see an endocrinologist for the initial evaluation and are then followed closely by our multidisciplinary team of specialists. An endocrinologist continues to monitor all aspects of treatment.
- Endocrinologist – Evaluates for endocrine issues (such as diabetes or thyroid disorders) which may impact weight
- Advanced practice nurse – Follows the patient to adjust treatment (in consultation with the endocrinologist) and help each patient stay on track
- Dietitian – Completes a nutrition evaluation; formulates a meal plan to facilitate weight loss
- Exercise physiologist – Develops an individualized exercise program for the patient
- Physical therapist – Helps patients who have physical limitations related to their weight (e.g., can’t walk on a treadmill; need to do sitting exercises or have other physical limitations) and forms an individualized exercise program
- Psychologist/behavioral therapist – Intervenes in cases where a patient has expressed psychological issues in dealing with weight or food
- Sleep specialist – Determines whether a patient has sleep apnea and provides treatment