How do bariatricians approach weight loss?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 13,222
    Health Expert William McCarthy explains how bariatricians approach weight loss.

    William McCarthy

    Dr. William McCarthy is the Medical Director at the NOVA ABC Weight Loss Clinic

    Dr. McCarthy has been in private medical practice in the Northern Virginia area since 1976.  He received a BS (Magna cum laude) at Xavier University in Cincinnati, his M.D. degree at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C, and served his internship and residency in Family Practice at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals in Madison, Wisconsin. Dr. McCarthy is board certified in bariatric medicine, which is the medical specialty of weight  disorders.  At this time, there are only approximatly 300 board certified bariatricians in the United States.

     He has served as the Chief of Staff and board member of Potomac Hospital here in Woodbridge.  He founded the nationally recognized Continuing Medical Education program at Potomac Hospital and served as it director for over twenty years.  He has been repeatedly voted by his peers as one of the top physicians in the D.C area in the Washington Consumer Checkbook.  Dr. McCarthy has also served as a board member of the Northern Virginia Foundation for Health and Medical Care and on the board of Physician’s Care insurance.  He was the team physician for the Prince William professional baseball team for many years, chosen by the Pirates, Yankees, Cardinals, and White Sox.   Dr. McCarthy has an outstanding reputation as a physician and educator, known not only for his broad knowledge of medicine, but also as a compassionate and caring physician.  After years of treating the health consequences that were brought on by excess weight, Dr. McCarthy decided to shift the focus of his care to the treatment and prevention of the actual cause of these medical problems.  Dr. McCarthy has attended numerous conferences, intensively studied the most current medical literature, and has spent time working with well known, experienced bariatricians in order to enhance his knowledge in the science of weight loss, metabolism, nutrition, exercise, and behavioral aspects of weight control.  He now dedicates his experience and knowledge to those who lives and health are adversely affected by their excess weight.

    Host: 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.