What is Semaglutide?
Semaglutide is a GLP -1 receptor agonist, that means it acts like a glucagon like peptide. This drug was first designed as a treatment for diabetic patients, however it was found to have profound weight loss properties in patients. This was a huge benefit to diabetic patients, but also the population as a whole. The GLP-1 was shown to affect appetite and food intake. It decrease a person’s appetite which in turn leads to weight loss. The first medication on the market was Ozempic which is designed to treat diabetic patients, because of its effectiveness on weight loss and new medication called Wegovy was released for the treatment of obesity. Both of the medications are Semaglutide medications. Semaglutides are a weekly injection that patients can do in the comfort of their own home.
How Does a Semaglutide cause Weight Loss?
Semaglutide such are designed to mimic GLP-1and this in turn helps regulate appetite and calorie intake. Patients on Semaglutide will have an overall decrease in appetite and food cravings. This leads to a significant decrease in weight over time as patients are consuming less calories per day. The revolutionary part of this treatment is that patients are not hungry or feel as if they are “dieting.” The goal long-term is that it helps our patients create better dietary habits.
How effective are Semaglutides for Weight Loss?
Semaglutides have been shown to be extremely effective in several studies. One of the first studies to evaluate the effectiveness of Semaglutides enrolled over 1,000 patients. These patients were treated for 68 weeks and loss an average of 15% of their body weight which translated to an average weight loss over the time of 35 pounds. A second study that included over 900 patients showed that patient on average lost 17% of their body weight and an average of 41 pounds at 68 weeks. It is important to remember that everyone in these studies were counseled on improving dietary habits and increasing physical activity. The results of these studies are truly exciting for our patients.
Are Semaglutides Safe?
Diet medications have come and gone for years as obesity has been an issue for decades. The side effects limited effectiveness of past treatments and led to disappointing results. In the semaglutide clinical trials for the treatment of weight loss patients had a limited side effects during the 68-week treatment. Over 90% of patients that started the treatment completed their 68-week treatment course. The most common adverse issues were gastrointestinal issues such nausea and diarrhea. In general, the semaglutides are extremely well tolerated.
What is the treatment process for Semaglutides?
Patient’s starting their weight loss journey at Austin Plastic Surgeon can come prior to their surgery, after their procedure or patients interested in decreasing their weight and improving their overall health. During your consultation patient will discuss their overall aesthetic goals and develop a treatment plan with their provider. This will include a combination of the following:
- Semaglutide weekly injections – These can be done at home.
- Monthly office visits to track progress and titrate dosing of the medication for the appropriate weight loss while minimizing side effects
- Dietary counseling
- Optional Muscle Membership upgrade
What kind of Patients Would Benefit from Semaglutide Weight Loss Therapy?
There are several groups of patients that are great candidates for Semaglutide treatments.
- Patient in overall good health that are overweight (BMI greater 25) or suffer from obesity (BMI greater than 30).
- Patients that are wanting to improve their overall shape and figure. We often have patients that visit Austin Plastic Surgeon for liposculpting or a tummy tuck hoping to lose weight. It is important to remember that liposuction and tummy tuck surgeries are not weight loss procedures. However, with the addition of the Semaglutide therapy we can now treat patients prior to their surgery to help them reach their ideal body weight prior to their surgery.
- Patient wanting to reach their ideal body weight prior to surgery are great candidates for Semaglutide therapy at Austin Plastic Surgeon as this will improve their overall results.
- At Austin Plastic Surgeon we have a BMI limit of 33 for our body contouring procedures. This was established to help keep patients safe and to make sure patients were good candidates for the procedure to achieve their aesthetic goal. In the past we used to ask patients to lose weight and them comeback after they reach a set weight. Now at Austin Plastic Surgeon we can work with you to help you achieve your goal weight so that you can safely achieve proceed with your surgery and reach your aesthetic goal!
Can Semaglutide Therapy be Done in Combination with your Surgical Procedure?
- Semaglutide and Mounjaro are medications that can be done in preparation for your aesthetic procedure, after your surgery to improve your overall results or as a standalone treatment.
- At Austin Plastic Surgeon we strive for patients to be at their ideal weight prior to surgery. This can be challenging as many of us (including myself have struggled with weight management). These new novel therapies can be used in preparation for your surgery or to improve your overall health.
- Surgeries such as tummy tucks, mommy makeovers and liposuction cannot change visceral or internal fat. This is where weight loss with Semaglutides can decrease the visceral and internal fat. This is an area that we have never been able to treat previously in plastic surgery.
- Semaglutides and Mounjaro are some of the most exciting interventions to become available for patients in my career.
Who is a Good Candidates Semaglutide Treatment for Weight Loss?
- Patients that are overweight or obese.
- Patients that want to decrease their weight and improve their overall health.
- You are not diabetic or currently on any diabetic medications.
- You do not have a history of thyroid cancer.
- You do not have any pancreatic issues.
- You have realistic expectations that the best results are when Semaglutides are combined with lifestyle changes that include diet and exercise.
If you want to improve your overall appearance.
Your Weight Loss Consultation with Semaglutide and Mounjaro Treatments
- Patients will present for their evaluation where they will meet Dr. Franco or one of the Austin Plastic Surgeons and their team.
- A medical history and physical exam will be done by your surgeon and his staff to determine the best treatment for you.
- Your surgeon will discuss the benefits of Semaglutide treatment for your weight loss journey. This can be done in conjunction with your consultation for your surgical treatments.
- The Austin Plastic Surgeon team will also discuss if other treatments in combination would be beneficial for you.
- The risks and benefits of the Semaglutide or Mounjaro treatments will be discussed during your consultation.
About Your Weight Loss Journey on Semaglutide
- An initial consultation is performed. This can be done specifically for weight loss or in combination with your surgical consultation.
- The goal of including Semaglutide or Mounjaro treatments with your surgical procedure is to help all of our patients be at their ideal body weight prior to their surgical treatment to help them achieve the best possible aesthetic result. It has also been shown that patients with a lower BMI undergoing plastic surgery have a lower risk of complications from the surgery. The total body treatment that includes Semaglutides or Mounjaro not only improves your results, it may also make your surgery safer.
- Patients are evaluated, the risks and benefits of the medications are discussed. Once the treatment plan has been established patients will start on their once weekly injections.
- The medications have to be titrated to an effective dose. You will have monthly visits at our office to check your progress and adjust your medication dosage.
- Patients typically tolerate the medications very well.
- We do want patients to reach a steady weight prior to their surgical intervention.