Swedish’s medical weight loss program offers more options for a healthier future

January 31, 2024 Swedish Weight Loss Team

[5 min read]

In this article: 

  • Swedish Weight Loss Services offers patients a tailored, multi-disciplinary approach to losing weight, with programs focused on medical and nutritional guidance, medication and surgery. 
  • The team's experts work with every patient to help them decide which approach is best for them and fits their long-term goals.
  • Patients receive support in behavioral change and "stacking" good habits, including proper nutrition, exercise, adequate sleep, and attention to emotional health and well-being.    

For many of us, weight loss and a healthier lifestyle top our list of new year goals. And often, it’s not just about getting smaller, it’s about finding (or getting back to) the things that bring us joy and give our lives meaning.  

“Often people say they’re motivated to lose weight by wanting to get on the floor with grandkids to play or participate in activities they used to enjoy but are now restricted by mobility or joint pain,” says Enrica Basilico, M.D., medical director at Swedish Weight Loss Services.

“In our society, it’s harder to stay healthy,” affirms Anirban Gupta, M.D., medical director for bariatric surgery at Providence Swedish. Physically demanding jobs and walking as transportation have decreased, while apps deliver food quickly and easily to our doors.

Dr. Gupta also points to the data that shows depression and anxiety are more widespread, as is increased loneliness, isolation and ideological fragmentation, all of which can impact health and eating habits. We’re also learning more about the role of genetics in our ability to lose or maintain a healthy weight.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some 25% to 30% of Washington State's population report themselves as obese. Many have struggled with the issue for years — some throughout their entire lives, with little to show other than years of frustrating yo-yo dieting. When diet and lifestyle change aren’t enough to achieve a healthy weight, some patients explore medical options for increasing their weight loss success.

Help with breaking unhealthy cycles

When patients come to Swedish Weight Loss Services, caregivers work with them to understand their medical, social, and weight history. It’s important to understand what patients tried so far for losing or stabilizing weight. Patients will then work with clinicians to develop an individual and evidence-based plan, which includes building new and sustainable eating, exercise and sleep habits; weight-loss medication; or, for some, bariatric surgery.

“Obesity isn’t an isolated medical concern, as it can increase the risk of sleep apnea, diabetes, hypertension, and other medical issues. And therefore, it should not be ignored or treated as one issue. Weight loss requires a multifaceted approach, not a single solution,” Dr. Gupta says.

In addition to medical guidance, resources for nutrition and physical activity are available at the weight loss center, including classes based on nutrition basics and easy meal planning.

“We all have busy jobs and lives and might not be three-star chefs, but we can help people find convenient and healthy foods,” Dr. Basilico says.

“Continued attention helps people to maintain weight loss,” Dr. Basilico continues. “Obesity and being overweight is a chronic condition. Even when there’s an improvement, there’s also a risk of relapse or regain.”

Tailored treatment for every patient

As with other medical weight loss decisions at Swedish Weight Loss Services, a multidisciplinary team will help decide if surgery is the right approach for a patient. In addition to physical health, a patient’s cognitive and psychological health are both taken into account.  

“This is not a quick fix,” Dr. Gupta warns. “And we use evidence and shared decision-making to match the right patient to the right procedure.”

To achieve success, patients must be highly motivated and ready for a complete change. Patients who are successful with weight loss tend to monitor their health and continue to communicate with their physicians or the clinic. Those who have a BMI of at least 40, or a BMI of 35 and significant weight-related medical problems may be a better fit for bariatric surgery.

And for those patients who choose bariatric surgery, most have lost between 25% and 37% of their total body weight 12 months after surgery.

“Habits and interventions related to diet, exercise, sleep and mental health can be stacked for optimal success,” Dr. Gupta says. “Studies show that depression and anxiety significantly decrease in this patient population post-metabolic surgery. The quality of life improves, along with other health metrics and mortality, and other medical conditions mention and improve.”

“I love to see people feeling healthier,” says Dr. Basilico. “They become more active and managing their weight isn’t in the forefront of their mind.”

Find a practitioner

If you have questions about how Swedish Weight Loss Services can help you, visit our website or call 206-215-2090. 

Whether you require an in-person visit or want to consult a doctor virtually, you have options. Contact Swedish Primary Care to schedule an appointment with a primary care provider. You can also connect virtually with your clinician to review your symptoms, provide instruction and follow up as needed. And with Swedish ExpressCare Virtual you can receive treatment in minutes for common conditions such as colds, flu, urinary tract infections, and more. You can use our provider directory to find a specialist or primary care physician near you. 

Information for patients and visitors 

Additional resources 

Reduce your weight to increase your health

The connection between food and diabetes

Start or restart your fitness journey in 2024

New year, new-trition. Get 2024 off to a healthy start.

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.

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About the Author

The Swedish Weight Loss team is dedicated to helping you find the right care you need to achieve the weight goals you desire. Whether it's surgical or non-surgical solutions, BMI check-ins or nutritional advice, our team is here to provide the expert tips and insights to help you find your optimal weight.

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