“Obesity is a disease that has dramatic impacts on patients’ health and quality of life,” says Ali Tavakkoli, MD, a bariatric surgeon and co-director of the new Center for Weight Management and Wellness. “Weight loss treatment can transform people’s health and well-being and open doors to new opportunities their weight previously restricted them from pursuing.”
At the new Center for Weight Management and Wellness, which has locations at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and in Foxboro, Dr. Tavakkoli and his team are all working to transform the way weight-related diseases, like obesity, are treated across the nation. In addition to surgical procedures like the ones Tavakkoli performs, the Center for Weight Management and Wellness offers services such as endoscopic procedures and counseling focused on diet, medicine and lifestyle modifications.
Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital has long offered services for patients wanting or needing to lose weight, but those services were housed within different departments. Now, when you decide it’s time to take control of your health and wellness, all you have to do is call one number or ask your primary care provider to refer you to the Center for Weight Management and Wellness and dedicated patient navigators will help you coordinate your care, giving you easy access to experts across the spectrum of obesity medicine.
How Do I know It’s Time to See a Weight Loss Expert?
“Most patients wish that they had not waited so long to get help with obesity,” says Caroline Apovian, MD, a leading expert in obesity medicine and one of the center’s founding co-directors. “A lot of that has to do with stigma surrounding obesity, and stigma can only be removed with education.”
Anyone looking to lose weight can visit the Center for Weight Management and Wellness. While physicians typically do not recommend patients with a body mass index (BMI) under 25 for surgery or medication, anyone, regardless of their BMI, can come in for lifestyle advice and counseling.
“The center puts you first. We do what’s best for you in the most efficient way possible. The people that work here are incredibly accomplished and have deep expertise. Each discipline has several experienced leading physicians and researchers in the field,” says Christopher Thompson, MD, MSC, AGAF, FASGE, FACG, director of Endoscopy and a co-director of the Center for Weight Management and Wellness.
What’s the Best Weight Loss Option for Me?
Every patient has a different story, finding the best course of treatment, be it surgery, medication or other intervention, is key to finding your success.
The Center for Weight Management and Wellness offers a wide range of surgical procedures such as gastric bypass surgery and sleeve gastrectomy. It also offers endoscopic options designed for people who meet the qualifications for bariatric surgery but are not quite ready to undergo operations.
Beyond procedures, you can also seek medication, lifestyle coaching and counseling services. The center offers group programs where you can discuss your weight loss journey with other patients, dieticians to help you develop healthy eating habits and educational services to teach you about meal planning and nutrition. For those that choose a surgical intervention, there are on-site physical therapists to help you recover post-surgery and develop new exercise routines.
The first step in your journey is an assessment where the experts at the Center for Weight Management and Wellness will discuss your goals and connect you with the services available through the center. Our clinicians then collaborate to meet your unique needs.
“I think this center is really unique when you look regionally or nationally because it offers multiple options beyond surgery and medications, including endoscopic options along with the psychosocial and dietary support that is needed to make these treatments successful,” says Dr. Tavakkoli.
Patients at the Center for Weight Management and Wellness may also participate in their provider’s research, meaning you have access to the latest treatment options.
“We have a very robust research program looking at bariatric and medical treatment outcomes. We are finding that there is heterogeneity in weight loss in procedures, medication and surgery. We’re trying to get to the underpinning of those differences. Why do some people lose a lot of weight after bariatric surgery and some people don’t? This is what we’re currently investigating,” says Dr. Apovian.
It’s Your Journey
“To us, it’s important for patients to know that obesity is a disease and that their need for treatment is not their fault,” says Dr. Thompson. “We just want to help patients in whatever way we can.”
If you’re ready to start your weight loss journey, speak to your primary care provider or call the Center for Weight Management and Wellness at 617-525-3597.
Caroline Apovian, MD
Ali Tavakkoli, MD
Christopher Thompson, MD
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