This is the first step in improving your health and lifestyle.

I'm ready to get started now.

This is a big step. It is quite natural to be nervous about making this commitment. Let me assure you that we are as committed to your losing weight as you are. The following frequently asked questions may help lessen your anxiety and will get you ready for your first office visit.


What does Bariatrics mean? Why choose a Bariatric Internist?

The term bariatric is derived from the Greek word “bari” meaning weight. A Bariatric physician specializes in the medical treatment of overweight and obese patients. An Internist, who has specialized in the management of obese patients, has the skill and clinical acumen to treat even the most complicated patients; including those who have diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, sleep apnea or cancer.

How much weight can I lose?

Our first goal will be for you to lose 10% of your body weight. With a 10% weight loss, you reduce your health risk for diabetes, coronary artery disease and cancer. Patients using the HMR® meal replacement program (Decision-Free® Diet) will generally lose more weight. Most patients on the Decision-Free® Diet will lose in excess of 30-60 lbs, some upward of 100 lbs.

How fast will I lose weight?

One pound is equal to 3500 calories, so to lose a pound a week, you need to reduce your diet by 500 calories every day. The weight loss is often very dramatic in the first couple of weeks because of the reduction in carbohydrate intake. Our goal will be for you to lose 1-2 pounds per week. Most patients will lose 2 – 4 pounds per week in the first month on the program. Our goal is for you to lose weight safely and keep it off by learning appropriate nutrition and eating habits.

What is my role in this process?

You have the biggest job. Your success in our program will depend on the changes you make in what you eat and how much you exercise. We will be here to support you, educate you and prescribe medication as necessary to allow you to focus on the choices you make. The keys to success are:

• Your determination that this will work and your dedication to the meal plan.
• Your record keeping and your documentation of your caloric intake and exercise.
• Your attendance at weekly visits and or classes.

How often do I have to come to the clinic?

As noted above, your success is enhanced by the weekly visits to the clinic. If you are on the Decision-Free® or Healthy Solutions® Diet, you will also need to attend the classes described above. Most therapy programs will last 12-18 weeks before you enter the Maintenance Phase.

Will my insurance cover the cost of the program?

Whether you can use your insurance for the medical portion of your program will be dependent on the type of insurance you have, your BMI, and the medical problems that you have in addition to your weight.  We will discuss this at orientation. Fortunately, for many of our patients, the medical portion of our program is covered by insurance. The HMR meal replacements and class fees are not covered by insurance.

I have thought about bariatric surgery. Will coming to Tidewater Bariatrics disqualify me from having surgery?

No. Bariatric surgery (gastric bypass, lap band) is a very viable option for some patients, particularly those who have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 35 with diabetes or hypertension, or those with a BMI greater than 40. Most bariatric surgical programs require that patients try a formalized medical weight loss program. Tidewater Bariatrics will offer you that program. If you still desire surgery, the weight loss experience during the program will decrease your risk of operative complications.

Do you have Corporate Partnerships?

Yes, we are currently in wellness partnerships with three local companies. Cox Cable, Amerigroup, and Regent University employees are being extended a 20% discount on medical and service charges in an effort to close the gap on the obesity epidemic. If you or your company are interested in learning more please contact Meghan Brickner, Program Coordinator for Tidewater Bariatrics at 757-644-6819 or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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This is the first step in improving your health and lifestyle.

At Tidewater Bariatrics, my staff and I are committed to helping you achieve your weight loss goals.

I am a board certified Bariatrician and Internal Medicine physician. I will tailor a program specific to your needs, time constraints and abilities.

Our program is modeled after successful academic university medical center programs, and is dedicated to decreasing your health risk, improving nutrition, providing health education, and increasing your overall wellness. You can expect to lose weight, improve your cardio-vascular health, and reduce your risk of developing long-term obesity complications.

Even if you already have the complications of obesity, weight loss can decrease or eliminate their effects.

Dr. Margaret Gaglione

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