WESTMED recently launched a Comprehensive Weight Loss Center, looking at weight from a scientific standpoint—not simply as a behavioral issue—and providing a full range of services for patients, including sleep medicine services. Since there a number of factors that lead to weight gain, WESTMED has assembled a comprehensive team to design a tailored approach to help each patient meet his/her weight loss goal.
“We have brought together specialists in obesity medicine, nutrition, weight management, bariatric surgery, sleep medicine, gynecology, behavioral health, and physical therapy,” says Nitya Sharma, MD, the Center’s director, who is double board certified in internal medicine and obesity medicine, in a release. “By consolidating the services in one location—at our 3030 Westchester Avenue, Purchase, office—patients seeking to lose weight can more easily get the care they need.” Patients have full access to the services necessary to achieve the best results.
The major component of the program is called “Healthy Measures,” and patients begin with an initial consult during which experienced members of the team take a thorough medical and nutritional history and baseline measurements. The next step is to develop a personalized treatment plan that may include structured meal plans, high protein meal replacements to jump-start the program, or prescription weight loss medications, as appropriate, to safely help with weight loss. Patients have regular follow-up visits to review their progress, and they learn to build a “toolbox” of skills to support their healthy weight goals. A dietitian is available to work with them to create the right diet and also serves as a key pillar of support and motivation.
In addition, the Weight Loss Center has an “In-Balance: Women’s Focused Weight Loss” component because women face unique issues in losing weight and achieving a healthy weight. Julianne Dunne, MD, who is board certified in both obesity medicine and OB/GYN, will provide guidance to help the patient make dietary and lifestyle changes to balance her hormones.
For the morbidly obese, who are also likely challenged by comorbidities such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea, bariatric surgery can be an effective treatment to improve these conditions. WESTMED’s bariatric surgeons have extensive experience with all the minimally invasive weight loss procedures—such as sleeve gastrectomy and adjustable gastric banding—which are done laparoscopically.
WESTMED Behavioral Health provides support as part of a patient’s overall weight management program, including an 8-week psychotherapy group for people suffering from emotional eating, depression, and weight management issues.
To achieve fitness goals that go hand-in-hand with goals for healthier eating, WESTMED’s doctors of physical therapy will design an individually tailored exercise program for each patient. Patients are able to follow their exercise program in the Purchase office, where the weight management team can monitor progress and provide support.
Sharma says, “Our program is not judgmental, and we encourage people with weight challenges not to judge themselves either. Biology, not willpower, controls body weight in the long term. We know that weight regulation involves a complex interaction between the hormones in our body. Therefore, our cutting-edge approach is rooted in biology.”