How do bariatricians approach weight loss?
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Male Speaker: How do Bariatricians approach weight loss? Dr. William McCarthy: In general, Bariatricians first of all, are specialists in weight loss. Bariatricians generally look at excess weight, not as a cosmetic problem, they look at it as a medical problem in and of itself. They look at the weight as a disease. They look at it as a long-term and chronic disease which it is. A Bariatrician will usually approach patient individually. They look at the patient s medical history, their eating history, pyschologic history and then perform test. They may even include a metabolic test to check how many calories a day that patient burns. They develop an individual plan of treatment that will encourage rapid weight loss but more importantly, long-term weight loss with certain goals in mind and the goal is not about losing weight quickly, it's about keeping that weight off overtime. A Bariatrician will work with a person regarding their eating habits or try to help a person deal with the stressful situations that come up to teach them that when Aunt Sally is in the hospital, it doesn't mean that they have to eat more. We can also work with patients. What happens when the child comes home with a bad report card? It doesn't necessarily have to cause an eating event. So, a Bariatrician will work with those events overtime and get to know a patient. Bariatricians also can use medications that can help with weight loss and the American Society of Bariatric Physicians has a very rigid set of guidelines that are used, but they are applied individually to help the individual patient lose weight in the long-term. So, what we see is that patients can lose a significant amount of weight. We have patients that lose just as much weight under a medical program as they do under the surgical approach. However, this is a non-invasive approach and there are no permanent changes made to the body.