Semaglutide and Other Weight Loss Medications

Matthew C Camp, MD
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

We see many patients in various stages of their weight loss journey. Some have already lost the weight and just need excess skin removal – hooray! Others need help to achieve the weight loss and improve their chances of having a fantastic body contouring result. We consider the many options available to lose excess weight, and guide treatment accordingly. We are often able to achieve the desired weight loss in less than 4 months. There are various current trends in weight loss treatment, including surgical weight loss, the use of GLP-1 agonists, and hormone replacement therapies.

Surgical weight loss, also known as bariatric surgery, is typically recommended for individuals who have a BMI over 40, a BMI over with associated health complications such as diabetes or sleep apnea. This type of surgery can help patients lose a significant amount of weight and lower their risk of obesity-related health conditions. However, it is important to note that the surgery also has potential risks and complications, such as blood clots, bleeding, and infection, and requires a significant commitment to a lifestyle change. This surgery is performed at a surgical center by one of our colleagues, who has many years experience in the technique.

On the other hand, the use of GLP-1 agonists, such as semaglutide, liraglutide, have also shown promising results in weight loss treatment. GLP-1 agonists are injections that mimic the actions of a natural hormone in the body that helps regulate appetite and metabolism. This reduces the “Head Hunger” of which many overweight patients complain. The phenomenon occurs when your mind thinks you are hungry, when your body does not need more calories. This type of treatment can be effective in reducing weight and improving glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes. However, it may not be suitable for all patients, as it can cause side effects such as nausea, and may not provide the same degree of weight loss as bariatric surgery.

Lastly, hormone replacement therapies, such as testosterone and estrogen replacement, have been used in wellness and weight loss programs. Testosterone builds lean body mass, increases libido, and increases overall energy level.  Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is sometimes used in combination with calorie restriction for weight loss. HCG also prevents testicular atrophy due to testosterone replacement.  It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any hormone replacement therapy or weight loss treatment program.

When considering these weight loss treatments, a cost-benefit analysis and risk assessment should be conducted to determine the most suitable and safe option for the individual. It is important to remember that a healthy weight loss journey involves a combination of a well-balanced diet, regular physical activity, and a commitment to lifestyle changes.