Tallwood Men's Health Medical & Surgical Weight Loss

Can’t decide if you’re overweight? Whether you have exceeded a healthy weight for your height is not debatable with the easy calculation known as Body Mass Index, or BMI, used by the medical and surgical weight-loss specialists at Tallwood Men’s Health.

By this measure, an alarming 73 percent of men in the United States qualified as either overweight or obese in the latest figures supplied by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 “The challenges associated with weight loss is complex and goes beyond ‘eat less’ and ‘exercise more,” says Dr. Devika Umashanker, a Hartford HealthCare Obesity Medicine Specialist. “We work with patients with complicated medical histories who have medication induced weight gain, patients with weight gain and regain after bariatric surgery, and patients with disordered eating patterns related to cravings and binge-eating, to name a few.”

Your BMI, the ratio of weight to height, should range between 18.5 and 24.9. Anyone between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight. Obesity starts at 30. 

Now let’s take an average 5-foot-9 adult male who weighs 165 pounds. That’s a healthy weight, with a BMI at 24.4 If he weighs 185 pounds two years later, he’s overweight at 27.3. At 205 pounds, he’ll be considered obese (30.3). A couple asterisks: BMI is a tool used by medical professions that can overestimate body fat if you have an athletic, muscular build or underestimate body fat if you have lost muscle with age. 

If you forget the BMI range thresholds, keep in mind that each increase in BMI adds to the risk of multiple health conditions, among them heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, stroke and cancer. Remember to get a physical exam each year by your primary care physician, who can detect these conditions at an early, often more easily treatable stage. (Visit Hartford Hartford HealthCare Medical Group to find a primary care provider.) 


Fast Facts

  • 38 percent of men in the United States are obese, but only 1 percent receive medical intervention.
  • In 1985, no state had an adult (male and female) obesity rate higher than 15 percent. Now, every state is at 20 percent or more.
  • Connecticut has the nation’s 10th-lowest obesity rate, yet 27 percent of men in the state are obese. 

5 Possible Weight-Related Signs You Should See A Doctor

      • Dizziness, blood spots in eyes, reddened face (high blood pressure).
      • Trouble breathing, snoring (sleep apnea).
      • Pain in upper-right side of abdomen, nausea, loss of appetite (gallbladder disease).
      • Pain, swelling in the big toe (gout caused by excess uric acid).
      • Increased thirst, frequent urination, increased hunger combined with unexplained weight loss (Type 2 diabetes).

How We Can Help

Tallwood Men’s Health works closely with Hartford HealthCare’s Medical & Surgical Weight Loss program to help our patients, especially those who have forgone preventative healthcare in recent years, control unhealthy weight gain and devise a sensible weight-loss plan.

Since the medical and surgical weight loss programs were integrated in 2017, Hartford HealthCare has treated many  patients attracted to our comprehensive  approach that offers nutritional education, lifestyle guidance, exercise plans, treatment for medication-induced weight gain, behavioral eating techniques, trigger analysis and pharmacotherapy options.

When bariatric surgery is necessary, our experts focus more on what you will gain, physically and emotionally, than the weight you will lose. 

Medical Weight Loss

Our specialists provide an in-depth evaluation of the source of your weight issues, including associated conditions like Type 2 diabetes, congestive heart failure and obesity hypoventilation syndrome (a breathing disorder).

After a complete history and physical and review of medical labs and medications, a personalized plan will be developed for each patient. The medical team includes board-certified physicians, an advanced practitioner and registered dietitians who work as a team to help patients with the weight loss process through healthy lifestyle interventions, medications and surgical intervention, if needed.

“We work with our patients to build a long-term approach to weight loss and healthier lifestyle,” says Dr. Umashanker, who is board-certified in internal medicine. 

Obesity is not caused, as some believe, by lack of willpower. 

“People who are overweight or obese tend to be resistant to the ‘satiety’ hormone leptin,” says Dr. Umashanker. “The leptin signal is supposed to tell the brain that it has enough fat stored and hence ‘full.’ But when leptin isn’t able to deliver its signal, the brain thinks that you are starving, causing you to eat.

“Trying to exert ‘willpower’ and consciously eating less in the face of the leptin-driven starvation signal is extremely difficult. Eating is driven by behavior, and behavior is driven by physiology and biochemistry. So being obese is not due to lack of willpower but rather biology.” 

Learn More


Surgical Weight Loss 

The 2017 integration of the medical and surgical weight management programs marked a new approach at Hartford HealthCare to bariatric, or weight loss, surgery. 

“In the past,” says Dr. Darren Tishler, director of the program, “we would often look at any diet, exercise program, or bariatric surgery procedure in terms of how much weight we could expect a patient to lose. Most overweight or obese Americans about to start a new diet, exercise program, or have bariatric surgery set unrealistic ‘weight loss’ goals for themselves, leading to disappointment and a sense of failure.

“That’s part of the reason that our team of surgeons and weight loss experts is now focused on asking not how much can you lose, but instead, what will you gain?” 

You might be a candidate for weight-loss surgery if you: 

  • Have a Body Mass Index of 40 or higher.
  • Have a Body Mass Index of 35 or greater with a major health issue such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or sleep apnea.
  • Are more than 40 to 60 pounds overweight.
  • Are not able to walk or easily perform everyday activities as a result of your weight.
  • Are worried about a family history of obesity. 

Learn More

Surgical & Medical Weight Loss Locations


Meet our Men's Medical and Surgical Weightloss Specialists

Name Specialties Location
Ford, Peter A., APRN
833.861.5433
  • Bariatric Medicine
  • Glastonbury
  • Farmington
  • Meriden
  • Southington
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Rice, Jenny Ann, PA-C
860.246.2071
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Glastonbury
  • Farmington
  • Farmington
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Tishler, Darren Scott, MD, FACS, FASMBS
860.246.2071
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • General Surgery
Show Less
  • Glastonbury
  • Enfield
  • Farmington
  • Manchester
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Umashanker, Devika, MD
833.861.5433
  • Bariatric Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
Show Less
  • Farmington
  • Farmington
  • Glastonbury
  • Meriden
  • Southington
Show Less
Young, Ricardo, MD, FASMBS
860.425.8740
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Norwich

Tallwood Men's Health