HCA Virginia - October 17, 2019

For those wanting – or needing – to lose a significant amount of weight (20 pounds or more) a medical approach offers a safe, sane way to do it. A hospital might not be the first place you think of for weight loss but these services fit perfectly in an environment focused on your best health.

Reston Hospital Center offers unique programs for both medically-supervised weight loss and surgical solutions. Each program has requirements and recommendations. Which is right for you? Let’s look at each program in more detail.

Medically supervised weight loss

What it is:

A 10-week intensive, medically supervised program that address the psychological and physical factors of your weight and help build a healthy relationship with food. The program combines a low-calorie diet (LCD) using meal replacement products, with weekly education and personal training sessions in our on-site gym, and one-on-one sessions with a dietician.

This program requires a doctor’s referral to ensure you’re healthy enough to begin the program. Patients with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 25 are good candidates for this program and can expect to lose 10-40 pounds. Patients with Type 2 diabetes and on insulin, as well as a few other scenarios are not able to participate.

The experience:

The program size is limited each session, providing lots of individual attention and support to make big changes. Patients commit to multiple weekly visits to learn new skills and strategies for life-long changes. Those visits also include a workout with a personal trainer who will help you identify the kinds of exercise that engage you while teaching the basics of weight lifting, cardio and other gym equipment with privacy and dignity.

You might expect patients to say they’re starving on meal replacements, but most report they feel satisfied after a few days. In fact, patients with more weight to lose often attend multiple sessions, as well as our maintenance program to continue or maintain their weight loss while easing back into regular life. Our program is “all-in” and not just a weekly weigh in, so patients are likely to stick with it and see results.

Other places offer medical weight loss but few can compare to Reston Hospital Center for the healthy simplicity of our plan with the gym workout. There’s no need to worry about what to eat or how to work out or what comes next – the program helps you do it all.

Weight loss surgery

What it is:

A life-altering surgical procedure that reduces the capacity of the stomach so patients are no longer able to eat as much. Bariatric surgery is paired with lifestyle support to make long-term eating and behavioral changes. The surgery has an immediate impact on the body as well as rapid and significant weight loss over 12-18 months.

This option requires a doctor’s referral and exam to make sure you’re healthy enough for surgery. To qualify, patients must have a BMI over 35 and one or more serious health risks or a BMI over 40 if there are no other health issues.

Because this is a surgical solution, there are risks and factors that need to be considered. The procedure requires a hospital stay and follow up care and carries risks that come with major surgery. Patients who have the surgery need to take vitamin supplements for the rest of their life and will work with a dietician to determine the right food choices.

Bariatric surgery is not a cosmetic procedure or a quick fix solution. It’s an option for those who have tried to lose weight in other ways and have been unsuccessful or those whose health is at severe risk because of their weight.

The experience:

Patients often come in for surgery with other health issues and find that those issues resolve quickly – in days, weeks or months – to the point that they no longer require medication or treatment. The surgery forces a lifestyle change with new skills, a new relationship to food and new social strategies. The shift is so great that many of our surgeons offer support groups in addition to those offered by the Hospital, and many insurance plans have behavior-modification requirements before the surgery.

Bariatric surgery at Reston Hospital Center is performed using minimally-invasive or laparoscopic techniques including robotic-assisted surgery. These techniques can make recovery from the surgery easier with less pain, small incisions and less down time.

What kind of weight loss is right for you?

Weight loss options are individual. They depend on a number of factors including your current weight and health, how much weight you hope to lose, and your personality or mindset. Our Bariatric Coordinator can help you understand your options and make an informed choice. Some patients choose to try our Medical Weight Loss Program before considering surgery, even if they have 50 or more pounds to lose. Your doctor or one of our bariatric surgeons can also help determine the right approach.

To learn more about Reston Hospital Center’s programs, attend one of our informational sessions or webinars. These sessions are free but registration is required. View dates and register. We also offer two free, online tools that may be helpful. One to help you determine your healthy weight range, and a second to determine if you are a candidate for weight loss surgery.

For additional support, you can also contact our Bariatric Coordinator directly at (703) 689-9328.