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Internationally Renowned Bariatric Surgeon

Rami Lutfi, MD, FACS, FASMBS

  • Past President, American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Foundation
  • Past President, Illinois Association of Bariatric Surgery
  • Founder, Midwest Bariatric Summit
  • Travels internationally training other metabolic and bariatric surgeons on the most recent, innovative techniques utilized today
  • Performed thousands of bariatric procedures, and written extensively about metabolic and bariatric surgery for leading medical journals
  • Performed the first laparoscopic gastric sleeve in the state of Illinois
  • Medical Director and Section Chief of Metabolic Surgery and Weight Loss, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center
  • Bariatric Surgery Fellowship Program Director, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center
  • Diplomate, American Board of Obesity Medicine
  • Completed Clinical Fellowship in Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery, Vanderbilt University
  • Completed Research Fellowship in Foregut Disorders and Obesity, Vanderbilt University



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Medical Weight Management Program

Am I a Candidate?

Our medical weight management program is appropriate for all individuals struggling with their weight. There are no minimal weight or body mass index (BMI) requirements. We are here to help you achieve your weight loss goals and improve your quality of life.

We work with each patient to develop an individualized, comprehensive weight loss plan. We focus on nutrition, physical activity and behavioral changes to maximize patient results. In addition to diet and lifestyle changes, we prescribe FDA-approved anti-obesity medications for patients who qualify.

Meet the Team

Rami Lutfi, MD, FACS, FASMBS​

Dr. Lutfi, a Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine, is internationally renowned for his work in the latest obesity treatments. He is a frequently invited guest lecturer and well-established researcher on the topic of obesity and weight management.

During his fellowship training in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at Vanderbilt University, he also completed a research fellowship in foregut disorders and obesity. Dr. Lufti’s expertise is foundational to a holistic metabolic medicine program designed to ensure that patients achieve whole body wellness.

Suzi Hamby, PA-C, RD, LDN

Suzi Hamby is a Physician Assistant and Registered Dietitian specializing in medical weight loss management. She earned a Certificate of Advanced Education in Obesity Medicine from the Obesity Medicine Association. She graduated with a master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Rosalind Franklin University in North Chicago and completed her Dietetic Internship at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).

Suzi is passionate about helping patients improve their quality of life and achieve long-term weight loss.

What the Program Offers

  • Customized Dietitian-Developed Diet Plans
  • Lifestyle and Behavioral Modification
  • Exercise Planning/Counseling
  • FDA-Approved Anti-Obesity Medications
  • Referral to Bariatric Surgery (if desired)

Lifestyle and Behavior Modification

Lifestyle and behavior modification is an essential pillar of obesity management. We help patients identify and overcome eating patterns that may contribute to their weight gain. We provide referrals for psychological services, if warranted, to assist patients in their weight loss journey.

Exercise Planning

Physical activity is vital — not just in terms of achieving weight loss goals, but also in improving mood and well-being, and promoting overall health. Every patient is different and we will work with you to develop a custom exercise plan that accommodates any restrictions or physical limitations.

  • Physical activity guidelines
    • At least 150 minutes (2 hours, 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) per week of moderate intensity, OR
    • 75 – 150 minutes per week of vigorous intensity aerobic exercise
    • Ideally spread throughout the week
  • Customize plans
  • Referral

Exercise programs are based on an assessment of each patient’s mobility.

  • Unable to walk
    • Seated exercise program
    • Arm exercises (arm cycling)
    • Swimming/aquatic exercises
    • Resistance/gravity mediated physical activities (seated leg raises, band exercises)
    • Consider physical therapy evaluation
  • Limited mobility
    • Walking
    • Swimming/aquatic exercises
    • Resistance/gravity mediated physical activities (seated leg raises, band exercises)
    • Balance exercises

FDA-Approved Anti-Obesity Medications

While the other components of our Medical Weight Management Program have no requirements, patients must meet the following qualifications to receive these medications:

  • BMI greater than or equal to 30
  • BMI greater than or equal to 27 with comorbidities including, but not limited to, the following:
    • High blood pressure (hypertension)
    • High cholesterol (hyperlipidemia)
    • Type 2 Diabetes
    • Sleep apnea
    • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
    • Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)

Patients using these medications lose an average of 5 – 10% of their total body weight in one year. If no clinical improvement is cited, alternative medications are considered. Medications are recommended for long-term use; stopping medication increases the risk of regaining weight.  

Wegovy (Semaglutide2.4 mg

The newest anti-obesity medication on the market, Wegovy received FDA approval in June 2021. This once-weekly injectable medication works by increasing GLP-1 (Glucagon-like Peptide) in the body. GLP-1 is an appetite hormone that helps regulate hunger. With the addition of diet and lifestyle modifications, average weight loss is 10 – 16% in 1 year.

Saxenda (Liraglutide) 3 mg

This daily injectable weight loss medication increases GLP-1 (Glucagon-like Peptide) in the body. GLP-1 is an appetite hormone that helps regulate hunger and increasing it can lead to eating fewer calories. Average weight loss — with the addition of diet and lifestyle modification — is 5 – 10% in 1 year.

Qysmia (Phentermine/Topiramate)

This drug is combines phentermine and topiramate (traditionally used as an anti-seizure medication). Qysmia is a daily pill that triggers the release of norepinephrine in the brain, which results in decreased appetite. Patients experience an average weight loss of 10 – 15% in 1 year.

Contrave (Naltrexone HCl/Bupropion HCl)

This combo drug targets two different areas of the brain to help reduce both hunger and cravings. Contrave is taken as 4 pills a day with a month-long titration period. Weight loss averages 5 – 10% in 1 year.


A prescription strength appetite suppressant that works by decreasing hunger. Typically taken as 1 pill daily, this drug is used short-term (12 weeks) to assist with weight loss in addition to dietary and lifestyle changes. Patients lose an average of 5% of their body weight in 1 year.

Please note that these medications are meant to be used in addition to dietary and lifestyle changes to maximize their benefit. Before prescribing these medications, we will discuss the side effects, contraindications and drug interactions with you.

Visits and Coverage

Medical weight management visits are billed through insurance. We accept most major insurance plans and offer affordable cash pay options as well.

What Our Patients are Saying

Natalie, real patient

Natalie - Lost 90 lbs

“Dr. Rami Lutfi and his staff have been absolutely wonderful throughout the entire Bariatric process. They truly care about your well-being and success to become the best version of yourself. I have lost 90 lbs in the course of 6 months and I’m still working hard to achieve my goals. Sticking to diet and exercise truly pays off. Bariatric surgery is a real lifestyle change and is a great tool to better your future health.”



Colin, real patient

Collin - Lost 130 lbs

“I cannot thank Dr. Lutfi and his incredible staff enough for helping me get my life back on track  From my initial consultation, to several post op appointments they have always had my best interests in mind throughout this process. It is an important decision and a lifestyle change that takes a big commitment, but with support from the medical team at Dr. Lutfi’s office, friends,and family; I believe it can be the best decision someone can make if they struggle with weight loss issues like I had since a teenager.”



Teresa - Lost 150 lbs

“Dr. Lutfi and his team are amazing.  I have been supported both physically and emotionally every step of my journey.  I cannot recommend Dr. Lutfi and Presence Hospital enough.  Best decision I have ever made!”



Pauline - Lost 100 lbs

“I have struggled with obesity my entire life, and when I had my son, my weight afterwards soared. I was in so much pain from the birth and carrying the excess weight that I could not work out and dieting was not helping. Due to the fact I had over 100 lbs to lose, I looked into having barbaric surgery and found Dr. Lutfi. His care and the amazing staff made my decision easy. I am now almost 100 lbs down and a fit, active mom with energy to spare! Thank you Dr. Lutfi!”



Michael - Lost 116 lbs

“The bariatric journey is definitely not an event that begins and ends with a surgical procedure — it’s a process that takes a lot of effort.  But on that journey, it is helpful to have the support of a comprehensive bariatric team. Certainly, it starts with expert surgical hands, like Dr. Lutfi’s.  I chose his practice due to his experience and enthusiasm. The medical and nutritional information provided by Markie and Erin made creating and sticking to a plan easy and straightforward….



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