A bariatric physician is a doctor that has received specialized training in bariatric medicine, which is the field of medical weight management. They are able to treat obese and overweight patients through a variety of methods including nutrition and diet, exercise, medications, behavioral therapy and surgery, or some combination thereof depending on their needs.
Someone that has tried and failed to lose weight several times on their own may benefit from consulting with a bariatric physician and being treated by them.
How to Find a Bariatric Doctor
If you have tried and failed to lose weight on your own, then you might want to consider getting the help you need from a bariatric doctor. They can guide you through how to lose weight using medical treatments and some other resources that you wouldn’t have access to by yourself.
Bariatric doctors have been trained to approach obesity as a disease rather than as a kind of lifestyle or personality flaw.
When looking for bariatric doctors you might not see “bariatric” listed when searching through medical directories. That is because the word is removed from some directories and listings as it confused patients.
The American Society of Bariatric Physicians changed their name in 2015, becoming the Obesity Medicine Association, to better help consumers understand what they do.
You can find an obesity expert near you by looking through the Obesity Medicine Association online database of doctors. With this database, you’ll be able to find a list of physician assistants, nurse practitioners, physicians, and other healthcare providers that have been trained to manage obesity.
These professionals are all trained to assist you in managing nutrition, behavior, physical activity, and medication to ensure that you are able to reach your weight loss goals and maintain your healthy weight.
Your doctor might not be listed in the directory as they may not be a formal member of the Obesity Medicine Association. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t able to help you manage your weight though. Given that being overweight and being obese are major issues, there are plenty of healthcare providers that have experience with weight loss and medical conditions considered more specialist areas.
Your regular healthcare provider might be able to talk to you about your weight problems and refer you to an expert who can help, which may or may not include a referral to a bariatric surgeon.
How to Find a Bariatric Surgeon
If you’re considering getting some kind of weight loss surgery, then take the time to consult a bariatric surgeon. Weight loss surgeons are medical professionals that have been trained in performing surgical procedures for obesity.
Your primary care physician might be able to refer you to a surgeon near you, or you might be able to find one yourself through the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP).
The MBSAQIP is a certification program combining resources from the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) with the American College of Surgeons (ACS) to provide patients with qualified and trained surgeons that can see them through weight loss surgery. Bariatric surgeons are able to discuss several important things with you, including:
- If you are a good fit for weight loss surgery
- The benefits and risks of weight loss surgery
- The different kinds of surgery available for weight loss
- Weight loss surgery recovery
- Life after weight loss surgery
The ASMBS and the American College of Surgeons both have databases that will allow you to find a surgeon near you. They also have a helpful guide on finding a qualified surgeon that explains the different certifications and qualifications a surgeon may have. The MBSAQIP also certify facilities that offer weight loss surgery, making it easy to find a program by you.
How to Lose Weight with a Bariatric Surgeon
Whether you choose to go with medical treatments or surgical treatments for your weight loss, the guidelines to successfully work with your doctor remain the same. The first thing you must do is always be honest with them about your current lifestyle and the results you expect. Your healthcare provider requires as much accurate information as possible to deliver the best possible care.
The second thing is that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions if you have any. Your doctor will be there to guide you, but they can’t do all the work for you, especially weight loss. It’s important for you to understand the recommendations and instructions they have.
Your life could depend on good communication between you and your physician. Be sure to choose a doctor you trust. Work with them to reach a healthy weight and live a long, happy, healthy, and active life.