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Dallas: Comparing Bariatric Surgery & Weight Loss Drugs




Why Do People Need to Lose Weight?

Why Do People Need to Lose Weight
Why Do People Need to Lose Weight

There are several reasons why people consider weight loss. The common ones include:

Health Benefits

Having excess body weight is associated with numerous health risks ranging from type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea to stroke and specific cancers like cancer of the pancreas, breast and liver.

People need to lose weight to maintain a healthy body weight and lower their risk of various weight-related health conditions. Weight loss helps with the management of type 2 diabetes in addition to minimizing cardiovascular and cancer risk.

Better Sleep and Improved Energy Levels

People who are overweight usually suffer from sleep apnea. However, if active steps are taken to lose excess weight, one can sleep well without experiencing sleep apnea. In addition to improving quality of sleep, weight loss helps increase your metabolism and energy levels.

Improve Self-Esteem

Besides improvement in physical health status, some people need to lose weight for its psychological benefits. It changes how you feel about yourself and helps boost your self-confidence.

Traditional Methods for Weight Loss: Bariatric Surgery

Diet and exercise combined therapy is usually the go-to for weight loss. When both don’t show any positive results, people consider medical or surgical weight loss.

The most popular traditional method for weight loss is Bariatric surgery. It’s recommended for individuals who are obese or overweight with serious health problems.

Bariatric surgery helps to reduce excess weight drastically as well as reduce the risk of possibly life-threatening weight-related health problems.

Bariatric surgery isn’t for everyone. It is for individuals who are obese or severely overweight with weight-related health conditions. Also, these individuals need to meet certain medical guidelines to qualify for bariatric surgery.

Although most patients get effective results with bariatric surgery, the process is intense. Starting from an extensive screening process to see if you qualify, you will also be required to make permanent changes to your diet and live a healthier lifestyle.

Also, keep in mind that the surgery is expensive and associated with the usual risk of complications associated with typical surgeries.

The Rise of Weight Loss Drugs

One of the popular health stories of recent times is the surge in demand for popular weight-loss drugs. The weight-loss drugs that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for long-term use include Bupropion-naltrexone, Orlistat (Xenical, Alli), Semaglutide (Wegovy), Liraglutide (Saxenda), Phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia) and Setmelanotide (Imcivree).

Most of these prescription weight-loss drugs work by reducing your appetite or making you feel fuller. Prescription weight-loss drugs are used long-term.

Weight-loss medicine in combination with certain lifestyle changes leads to greater weight loss than lifestyle changes alone. Certain reviews have shown that weight loss drug usage for about a year can result in a loss of total body weight of 3% to 12% more than that lost with lifestyle changes alone.

And with this amount of weight loss, you can enjoy the important health benefits associated with weight loss. It’s far more cost-effective in comparison to bariatric surgery. Mild side effects, such as nausea, constipation, and diarrhea, are common with prescription weight-loss drugs but serious side effects are rarely seen.

Ensure to talk to your healthcare provider about all treatment choices and ask about the possible benefits and risks of each drug before making a final decision.

Cost of Weight Loss Drugs vs. Bariatric Surgery

The cost of weight loss drugs differs for each medication. Ozempic costs $936 while Wegovy costs $1,349 per month.

You can get Mounjaro for $1,023 per month and with  $1,059.87 you can get Zepbound. Insurance coverage can make the entire process of drug acquisition more difficult than necessary, making the drug out of reach for many who could benefit from it.

On the other hand, Bariatric surgery costs can vary widely depending on your location, medical needs, and insurance. The cost of bariatric surgery generally ranges from around $7,500 to $30,000

Which is Right For You? What to Consider Before Choosing a Treatment Option

Which is Right For You What to Consider Before Choosing a Treatment Option
Which is Right For You What to Consider Before Choosing a Treatment Option

The choice between weight loss drugs and bariatric surgery is dependent on a variety of factors. All of these factors should be carefully evaluated to help with the decision-making process.

Current Health Status

The first factor to consider when choosing a weight loss treatment option is your health condition. Your current BMI and health status should be evaluated to determine the ideal option for you.

Bariatric surgery is often recommended for individuals with a BMI of 40 or higher, while weight loss drugs may be considered for those with a BMI of 30 or more. Knowing this, you will be able to move forward in choosing a suitable treatment option.

Risk and benefits

Another thing to consider is the advantages and disadvantages of all the treatment options available to you. It is important to consider all of the risks and benefits when it comes to choosing a treatment option for weight loss.

After knowing all each treatment option has in store for you, you can then go ahead to compare the cost, risk, and convenience that can help you make the best decision for your health and lifestyle.

Professional Consultation

Bariatric surgery has been around for a while and with the introduction of newer weight loss drugs as an alternative option, you have more options at your disposal, and choosing the right option for you may become quite challenging.

Consult a professional to discuss in detail all the options that are available to you and guide you in deciding the best weight-loss treatment option for you.

When it comes to weight loss, how do bariatric surgery and medications compare?

Cost

Bariatric surgery is an expensive treatment option. Weight loss drugs typically involve continuous costs, as they are often prescribed for extended periods to maintain weight loss. However, weight loss drugs are generally more affordable in the short term compared to bariatric surgery.

Process and Results

The entire process of bariatric surgery is intense starting from the evaluation and preparation stage to the procedure itself and the downtime for recovery after the surgery. However, it’s easier and more convenient to get started with weight loss medication.

You should also know that bariatric surgery typically leads to more rapid and substantial weight loss compared to weight-loss medications.

Risks

Common side effects of weight loss drugs include gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, and potential dependency, while that of its surgical alternatives is more severe.

Bariatric surgery is associated with surgical risks, including infection, bleeding, blood clots, and severe adverse reactions to anesthesia.

FAQ

What are the barriers to bariatric surgery?

The common barriers to bariatric surgery include patient and physician perceptions and attitudes, patient-physician interaction, lack of resources, severe associated risks, and financial burden.

What are the barriers to Weight Loss Drugs?

Lack of insurance coverage is a common barrier related to anti-obesity medications. Other barriers include lack of FDA approval, limited research on the long-term efficacy and side effects of the medications, as well as the fact that weight loss medications require continued usage.

Why Is Bariatric Surgery the Gold Standard for Treating Obesity?

Bariatric surgery has earned the reputation of being the gold standard for obesity, against other procedures because of its favorable outcomes.

The surgery results in the largest and most sustained weight reduction. Although results may vary in patients, with proper adherence to healthy lifestyle practices, the results can last for many years.

Can You Combine Weight Loss Drugs and Surgery?

Yes. Combining bariatric surgery with approved weight-loss drugs and a healthy lifestyle can be used to effectively treat those suffering from excessive weight including those who are morbidly obese with a BMI of over 40.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Weight Loss Drugs and Bariatric Surgery?

Pros of weight loss drugs:

  • They are approved by the FDA for weight management, making them safe for use.
  • They are effective for weight loss.
  • They offer various health benefits, including improved blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
  • Weight-loss drugs can be conveniently gotten online.

Cons of weight loss drugs:

  • Weight-loss drugs are not suitable for everyone
  • They are associated with side effects
  • There’s only limited research available on long-term health effects.

Pros of bariatric surgery:

  • Bariatric surgery offers immediate, noticeable, and significant weight loss.
  • It helps resolve obesity-associated health conditions and improve the quality of life of an individual.
  • Weight loss can be sustained long-term.

Cons of bariatric surgery:

  • It requires a lifelong commitment to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a healthy diet.
  • The surgery itself carries risks of severe complications including nutritional deficiencies.
  • Bariatric surgery is very expensive.

How much weight can people expect to lose from Weight Loss Drugs and Bariatric Surgery?

You can expect to lose about 30 – 50% of your excess body with bariatric surgery.

How long does the weight stay off?

Bariatric surgery offers a permanent weight loss solution but some individuals can regain the weight back after a long while.

What is the safest form of weight loss surgery?

The sleeve gastrectomy is the safest form of weight loss surgery. It’s relatively simple, safe and associated with fewer side effects and risk of complications.

Is it better to lose weight before bariatric surgery?

Yes, it’s better. Losing weight before your bariatric surgery increases your chance of achieving a higher success rate.



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