With obesity on the rise, more people are seeking effective weight loss solutions. However, for many obese patients, diet and exercise alone are often not enough to sustain long-term success. The good news is that there are effective weight loss tools available, including weight loss surgery and the recently popular semaglutide injections ( sold under brands like Ozempic® and Wegovy® ).
In this article, we will compare Gastric Sleeve Surgery vs. Ozempic ® (semaglutide injections), their efficacy, safety, cost, and more, to help you make an informed decision about which option may be best for you.
Understanding Obesity and Its Impact on Health
Obesity is primarily identified by the presence of excessive body fat, which can be effectively measured through the use of body mass index (BMI). A BMI of 30 or higher indicates obesity, and the higher the BMI, the more severe the condition. The health risks associated with obesity are numerous and can include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, infertility, joint pain, and reduced life expectancy. This is why it is crucial to find effective weight loss solutions to improve quality of life and health.
Overview of Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Gastric sleeve surgery, also known as sleeve gastrectomy, is a surgical weight loss procedure that involves removing a large portion of the stomach, typically around 80%. The reduction in stomach size not only restricts food intake but also helps regulate hunger hormones, leading to a decreased appetite and promoting weight loss.
Efficacy of Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Gastric sleeve surgery has been shown to be highly effective in achieving significant and sustained weight loss. On average, patients can expect to lose 60-70% of their excess body weight within 12-18 months after having the surgery. This substantial weight loss often results in significant improvements in many obesity-related health conditions.
Risks and Side Effects of Gastric Sleeve Surgery
It is crucial to acknowledge that gastric sleeve surgery, despite being an efficient option, carries potential risks and side effects as with any surgical procedure. These may include:
- Surgical risks: As with any surgical procedure, gastric sleeve surgery carries general risks such as bleeding, infection, blood clots, and adverse reactions to anesthesia
- Acid reflux, which can be managed with medication
- Nutritional deficiencies, which can be addressed with supplements
At 360 Sleeve, we take the necessary precautions to reduce the chances of complications by following safety guidelines and completing thorough health assessments prior to performing surgery. We take pride in maintaining a pristine record, with no reported incidents of post-operative infections or leaks.
Overview of Ozempic® (Semaglutide Injections)
What is Ozempic®?
Ozempic® is a Semaglutide medication originally developed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. However, it has recently gained popularity as a weight loss treatment, due to its ability to suppress appetite and increase feelings of fullness. Semaglutide is administered via a once-weekly injection under the brand name Wegovy® and Ozempic®.
Efficacy of Semaglutide Injections
Clinical trials have demonstrated that semaglutide injections can lead to significant weight loss when combined with a healthy diet and exercise regimen. With the use of semaglutide injections, an average weight loss of 10% – 15% of initial body weight is common. The weight loss achieved is impressive, but it is less than the average of gastric sleeve surgery, which is about 60% – 70%. It is also common to experience weight regain after discontinuing the use of semaglutide. However, semaglutide injections may be a good option for individuals seeking a less drastic weight loss, or who may not be candidates for surgery due to health reasons.
Risks and Side Effects of Semaglutide Injections
Like any medication, semaglutide injections are not without risks and potential side effects. Some common side effects include:
These side effects are generally manageable and may decrease with time despite their unpleasant nature.
Comparing cost of Gastric Sleeve Surgery and Ozempic®
One crucial factor to consider when comparing Gastric Sleeve Surgery vs. Ozempic ® is the cost. The price of each treatment option can vary depending on factors such as insurance coverage, geographic location, and the specific healthcare provider.
Gastric Sleeve Surgery Costs
The cost of gastric sleeve surgery at 360 Sleeve is $18,000. While this may seem like a significant expense, it is a one-time fee that can benefit you for the rest of your life. This fee also includes a 6-year aftercare program which includes dietitian and surgeon follow-ups to monitor your progress and support you on your weight loss journey for optimal results.
Ozempic ® Costs
Depending on where you live, the cost of Ozempic ® (semaglutide injections) can range from $300 – $1,000 for a one-month supply, plus any additional program fees to have a physician monitor your progress or health. Given that this medication is intended as a long-term treatment, the costs can quickly add up. For example, five years of treatment with semaglutide injections could amount to a total cost of $18,000 – $60,000+.
Is It Possible to Use Ozempic ® after Having a Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Pairing gastric sleeve surgery with semaglutide injections may have potential benefits for some patients, but long-term consequences are not fully understood due to limited research. For example, a person who has undergone gastric sleeve surgery may experience weight loss plateaus or regain weight over time. In such cases, semaglutide injections may be considered as an additional treatment to help promote further weight loss. It is crucial to discuss the possibility of combining treatments with a bariatric surgeon, who can help you determine the most appropriate course of action to take.
Which Option Is Right for You?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to Gastric Sleeve Surgery vs. Ozempic ® (semaglutide injections) for weight loss. Both methods are successful weight-loss tools that work best in conjunction with lifestyle and diet changes. However, depending on individual factors and weight loss goals, one may be more suitable than the other.
Consulting with a qualified healthcare professional, such as a bariatric surgeon is key for effective weight loss. They can guide you on the best approach to reach your health goals.
To learn more about Gastric Sleeve Surgery, book a free consultation with us at 360 Sleeve.