Talking with your doctor about weight loss treatment.

How to start a conversation about weight loss or bariatric surgery with your doctor?

2 in 3 Australians are overweight or obese as per the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Report 2017-18. Operation rates are still at around 2-5% of eligible patients, and there is still a lot of work to be done to improve on the dialogue between patients and their doctors.

How can you discuss your weight with your doctor?

Many patients feel very anxious about discussing their weight, as they may feel judged or not listened to, or that there may not be a lot of assistance possible.

As health care providers, doctors play such an important role in the lives of their patients. It is important to treat obesity as a chronic disease. The old teaching of ‘eat less and exercise more’ does not work. An integrated, holistic approach to weight loss, with management from expert clinicians is important for a positive long-term result.

Find out your BMI – granted, BMI is not the be all and end all, but it is a good start. Coupled with a body scan to assess composition (done during your dietetics consultation), BMI is useful for prognostic value.

Note: guidelines state that a BMI ≥ 35 is an indication for weight loss surgery. These are created on the back of hundreds of trials, assessing risk and benefit.

Discuss your weight-related comorbidities (health problem) with your GP or doctor, and how these impact on your life. Weight loss, or bariatric surgery, has been proven to increase lifespan, increase quality of life, as well as decrease your risk of cancer.

Ask for a referral to a specialist weight loss or bariatric surgeon, who has a team of supportive clinicians that can help you to improve on your current situation.

There is no reason to be anxious, or to feel like you are being judged anymore. Weight loss, or bariatric surgery, in the form of a sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass is very safe.

Dr Balalis performs bariatric or weight loss surgery and can discuss with you your particular risks and benefits. The ‘best bariatric/weight loss operation’ is one that is tailored to the patient, and Dr Balalis and the team can assist you with finding your ‘best weight loss option’.

Please contact Dr Balalis for more information or a formal consult.

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Considering the next step in your weight loss journey? Contact us to find out more about our holistic approach or to book your consultation.

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