Dec 26, 2023 Ask the Doctor January 2024

Medical and Surgical Weight Loss Offers a Healthy Way to Slim Down

Question: How does being overweight affect our health?

Ragui W. Sadek, MD
Ragui W. Sadek, MD

Answer: More than 40 percent of American adults are obese, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. People with a body mass index (BMI)—a weight-height ratio—over 40 live 10 fewer years than those who have a lower BMI. Obesity can lead to sleep problems, heart disease, diabetes and uterine, esophageal and colorectal cancers. Being overweight also increases the risk of dying from COVID-19 and makes it more difficult to recover from respiratory infections like pneumonia.

Question: What medical weight loss options are available to help patients live healthier, longer lives?

Answer: The Medical Weight Loss Program is a supportive and comprehensive program for patients seeking a non-surgical approach to weight loss or who do not meet the requirements for surgery. This strategy may include: FDA-approved weight loss medication; coordination with a behavior specialist; coordination with a dietitian for customized diet and menu planning; and an exercise program designed specifically for Weight Loss participants.

If they meet the medical and psychological criteria, some patients choose weight loss surgery, or bariatric surgery. This is a highly effective weight loss option that involves reducing the size of the stomach. A patient will feel full sooner, eat less, and with the help of other lifestyle changes, reduce their weight. Sleeve Gastrectomy and Gastric Bypass are just two of the potential surgical options available. Your surgeon will help you choose the best option for you.

Question: How do patients maintain their weight-loss success?
Whether or not to have weight-loss surgery is an important life decision. To help you decide if bariatric surgery is the right choice for you, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Hamilton offers individualized guidance from physicians, surgeons, Bariatric Program Coordinator and other team members. In addition, support group meetings, dietary/nutritional classes and educational seminars to help you gather additional information and insight.

After surgery or along your non-surgical weight loss journey, our physicians and counselors help you identify and establish the lifestyle changes they need to make your weight loss surgery a continuing success. RWJUH Hamilton also offers ongoing support group resources and nutritional counseling, exercise specialists and support staff to provide a full continuum of services and counseling.

Losing weight is not easy, but the team at the Center for Weight Loss at RWJUH Hamilton will help you succeed. At every step in your journey, you will feel supported and in control.

Start your weight loss journey today.

Call our Bariatric Program Coordinator at 609-249-7510 or