Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital January 7, 2014
When it comes to treating obesity, there are many options. And, what may be ideal for one person may not be right for another.
“Many people with obesity are unsure which direction to take when it comes to losing weight,” explains Dr. Florencia Halperin, an endocrinologist and Co-Director of the Center for Weight Management and Metabolic Surgery. “We believe that it is important for patients to understand all of the available treatment choices, including the benefits and drawbacks of each approach, so that they can make informed decisions.”
Dr. Halperin and bariatric surgeon Ali Tavakkoli, MD, Center Co-Director, provide consultation for patients regarding a wide range of approaches, including lifestyle changes, medical therapies, and surgical treatments, and work with them to develop an individualized plan based on needs and preferences.
“Often, we incorporate multiple strategies in the overall plan,” says Dr. Tavakkoli. “For example, some patients may desire to start with lifestyle modifications and medications. For patients with type 2 diabetes and certain lipid disorders, weight loss surgery has been shown to be a benefit and may be considered earlier, with continued treatment with lifestyle changes to ensure ongoing success.”
For patients with obesity and other serious conditions, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease, the Center optimizes treatment for these multiple issues. Newer medications for diabetes, for example, can also promote weight loss. A preventive cardiologist works as part of the team to provide care for patients with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. In addition, exercise and diet play an important part in any long-term plan.
“As obesity contributes to the development of many chronic health issues, making the decision to learn about the different ways to treat obesity is a very important first step for a patient to take,” says Dr. Halperin.
Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. If you are concerned about obesity, talk with your doctor or schedule an appointment at our Center for Weight Management and Metabolic Surgery at (617) 732-7207 to learn more about your options.– Jessica F.