OHOW Weight Loss Clinic: A Success Story
More than one-third of Americans are obese. And as the prevalence of obesity continues to increase, the risk for several health conditions also increases. Often, obesity is associated with the risk of health issues such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke. But being obese can also make surgery more challenging and can increase your risk for complications. To help deliver successful and safe surgeries to obese patients, Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin has developed our Weight Loss Clinic. Since opening in 2021, our patients have lost the weight necessary to make surgery possible, amassing 338 pounds lost!
The clinic runs thanks to OHOW staff, including Health Coach Garrett Stangel. In the blog post below, Stangel discusses the importance of weight loss for orthopedic surgery in obese patients and how the clinic helps those patients on their weight loss journey.
Why is Weight Loss Important Before Orthopedic Surgery?
With obesity comes many inherent risks and can put you at risk for side effects and complications. These can result from the surgery, anesthesia, or medications you may need after your surgery. Additionally, excess weight puts you at a higher risk for infection following the surgery. Recovery can also be difficult, and excessive wear and tear on a replacement part will occur.
“Even a modest amount of weight loss significantly reduces all these risks,” Stangel explained.
Losing weight, and keeping it off, can be extremely challenging. Most people know how hard it is to lose weight and how easy it is to gain. It can be even more difficult for people who experience pain or stiffness that limits their movement. At the same time, maintaining a healthy weight is especially important for people with musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout.
OHOW Weight Loss Clinic in Action
Typically, OHOW Weight Loss Clinic patients have a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 30. The goal is to help patients reach a healthy BMI of 25 or below, but even a 13 percent improvement can be significant and of tremendous value to the patient.
OHOW Weight Loss Clinic primarily utilizes health coaching, which creates a partnership between the patient and the coach. The relationship allows both parties to apply their expertise to achieve a successful weight loss program.
“My role as a health coach is to help you get clear on what value losing weight will bring to you,” Stangel said. “I help you strategize, leverage your strengths and resources, and to help you break the difficult things down into smaller, more actionable pieces.”
Health coaches are experts on human behavior, motivation, and health. Health coaches have a working knowledge of diet, lifestyle, and exercise. They understand how these contributors to health affect the body, which helps them understand and empathize with the health challenges their clients experience. Coaches are not experts on what their clients should do. Instead, they act as partners and facilitators, supporting their clients in taking action, creating plans, and achieving goals based on the client’s ideas, interests, and experiences.
“Together, we can do far more than we can alone,” Stangel said.
On average, Weight Loss Clinic patients lose about a pound per week for a slow, steady, healthy, and sustainable weight loss. Some patients may be ready for surgery in a few months, and others may take a year or longer to lose the weight necessary for a healthy surgery.
Weight Loss Clinic Success
After only being open for nearly two years, the OHOW Weight Loss Clinic has been a considerable success for patients.
“I’m excited to say that the vast majority of patients I’ve had the opportunity to work with have already undergone surgery,” Stangel said. “The pain is gone, and they are moving onto the second half of their health journey.”
While weight loss allows patients to get the surgeries they need and end the pain they are experiencing, Stangel says the most rewarding part of the process is the lifestyle change that the weight loss represents.
“My real emphasis and source of pride is seeing patients getting back to a life that they are excited about and loved ones and to feel empowered in this process,” Stangel said.
If you or a loved one is overweight or obese and planning on surgery, it’s vital to know that the OHOW Weight Loss Clinic is here to help make changes before surgery. Know our team will be by your side to help you through the crucial journey that weight loss can be. You don’t have to do it alone.
About Garrett Stangel, Health Coach
Garrett Stangel is a health and performance coach. He specializes in medical fitness, health coaching, and movement-based training. He strives to help people with barriers to entry live healthy and happy lives.
Garrett is a Marine Corps Veteran with 20+ years of experience in Allied Health. He serves as an ACE Master trainer, expert, and adjunct faculty member for Carroll University Exercise Science Department. He also owns Balance Fitness in Glendale, WI, and 9 Round Fitness in Wauwatosa, WI.