Diet and Nutrition; Digestive; Plastic Surgery
Metabolic reset: Benefits of bariatric surgery beyond weight loss
March 16, 2023
Jaime Almandoz, M.D., is an Associate Professor in UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, and he’s the Assistant Medical Director of the UTSW Clinical Research Unit in the Center for Translational Medicine. He is an expert in nonsurgical weight management and the medical care of patients following bariatric surgery.
Originally from the island nation of Trinidad in the Caribbean, Dr. Almandoz received his medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. After graduating first in his class, he completed a residency in internal medicine at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. He then spent time at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where he received further training in internal medicine and advanced fellowship training in endocrinology, diabetes, metabolism, and nutrition. He subsequently completed an additional fellowship in nutrition and metabolic diseases at UT Southwestern.
Triple board certified in internal medicine, endocrinology, and obesity medicine, Dr. Almandoz joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2013. As a member of UT Southwestern’s Endocrinology team, he provides specialized care to patients seeking medical weight-loss therapies and to patients following bariatric surgery who have developed nutritional problems or weight regain. He also sees patients with cholesterol disorders and Type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Almandoz publishes the results of his work frequently in scientific and medical journals and is involved in a variety of professional organizations, including the Obesity Society, Endocrine Society, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and American Diabetes Association.
Jaime Almandoz, M.D., is an expert in nonsurgical weight management and the medical care of patients following bariatric surgery, a calling that fully utilizes his advanced training in internal medicine, endocrinology, and obesity medicine.
Dr. Almandoz is passionate about providing individualized, patient-centered care to improve metabolic health and overall wellness.
“Most of my patients have struggled with their weight for years, and many of them have lost hope instead of weight. One of my jobs is to help them effectively manage their weight and to treat the metabolic complications of obesity, such as Type 2 diabetes,” he says.
Dr. Almandoz sees a mix of patients, including those who don’t want bariatric surgery, those who are thinking about it, and those who have had it.
“I strive to ensure that they’re maximizing their weight-loss potential and are not becoming unwell or nutritionally deficient along the way,” he says.
Doing this successfully requires the specialized skills to identify each patient’s health concerns, preferences, and limitations to create a personalized and integrated approach.
“The cornerstone of weight loss is achieving a negative energy balance. We work with patients on novel methods for calorie tracking, dietary modification, weight loss medications, and meal replacement plans where necessary. Physical activity is also important, and we help patients begin safe and suitable exercise programs,” Dr. Almandoz says. “With the nation’s ever-growing obesity epidemic, the stakes could not be higher."
More than one-third of the American population is obese and, despite reports to the contrary, there is probably no such thing as “healthy obesity.” This is a concept that someone may be obese yet “metabolically healthy” – with normal blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. However, when these people are followed over time, they still have an increased risk of death and heart disease compared with people who weigh less. Excess body weight also increases the risk of other conditions such as cancer, obstructive sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis.
“Weight management and metabolism is a fascinating field because it doesn’t just involve physiological pathways; there is also a significant social component,” he says.
“Human beings are complex organisms, and obesity is a complicated disease when you factor in environmental, genetic, and behavioral influences – things don’t always play by the rules. My role is to ensure that there are no metabolic problems or medications contributing to a patient’s weight problem, and to incorporate lifestyle changes, behavioral treatments, and medications or surgical therapies – whatever is needed to achieve success for every patient.”