Ozempic, a new medical weight loss approach, has recently taken the world by storm. And in the office, we are seeing a great increase in the number of patients who are seeking plastic surgery after weight loss using Ozempic and similar drugs.
These weight loss medications have been proven highly effective, and they also work quickly. This means many patients have been able to achieve their weight loss goals in less than a year — even when they started out significantly overweight or obese.
The issue is: There are some drawbacks when it comes to post-weight loss skin removal and body contouring surgery. We dive further into these issues up ahead, including what specific types of skin issues may impact users of weight loss drugs and how plastic surgery can help amend these problems to give you the body you desire.
What Is Medical Weight Loss? An Overview of Ozempic and Similar Drugs
Ozempic is an injectable medication that was originally used to treat diabetes. According to FDA drug safety communication, it is one of the prescription medications that can help type II diabetes patients better manage their blood glucose levels. The actual drug name (or generic version of Ozempic) is semiglutide. Wegovy is another version of the same thing.
Recently, these drugs were found to be effective at helping patients on their weight loss journey lose significant amounts of weight in short periods of time. It has thus been added to a list of weight management medications in addition to treating type II diabetes.
Significantly overweight patients who have not had success losing weight with diet and exercise (and who choose not to drop their body weight with gastric bypass surgery or a similar procedure) may opt to try semiglutide by asking their primary care doctor or a specialist for a prescription.
Does Ozempic Works for Weight Loss?
Yes, there have been many success stories as a result of using Ozempic. Patients who have high blood pressure and other symptoms associated with excess weight can lose weight quickly, skip the need for a gastric bypass or gastric sleeve procedure, and go straight to having more energy and better health at a lower weight.
Some patients achieve their weight loss goals very fast. Average weight loss per week can far surpass typical losses from diet and exercise alone.
Of course, in order to maintain their new weight (and avoid weight gain) for their entire life, patients must eat right and exercise, avoiding too much fast food or calorically dense food. They must keep up with a healthy lifestyle in order to maintain a healthier future.
So, What’s Wrong With Ozempic?
This article is not meant to critique Ozempic and similar weight loss drugs. Rather, it is meant to highlight one potential aesthetic complication of losing weight at a rapid pace.
Namely, when patients lose weight very quickly with prescription weight loss medications, it can cause skin issues for some. More specifically, some Ozempic users are finding that they have a lot of excess skin after their weight loss. This can cause both physical discomfort and an unsatisfactory self image post-weight loss.
Why Do Ozempic and Similar Drugs Cause Loose Skin?
The truth is, no matter how you get the weight off, if you lose a significant amount of weight quickly, it’s likely that you’re going to have excess loose skin. The keyword here is “quickly”. Any time you lose weight quickly, your skin basically doesn’t have a chance to retract and tighten up around your new body contours.
This means that after using Ozempic or similar drugs, you may struggle with excess skin.
But it also means that you can struggle with the same problem after undergoing bariatric surgery or even after losing weight quickly through diet and exercise. It’s worth noting, however, that those who lose weight with diet and exercise alone tend to lose the weight at a slower pace. This means that the skin has more of a chance to catch up with your new body shape and is less likely to remain loose and sagging.
In addition, if you are someone who has yo-yo dieted and lost and gained weight several times before in your life, you’re even more likely to struggle with excess loose skin. This is because your skin has been stretched and retracted many times before. This can cause the collagen in your skin not to work as well, meaning your skin has not retained its natural elasticity and is more likely to remain lax or loose.
Conversely, patients who lose weight slowly and at a young age may be able to retain their skin elasticity better and avoid some skin issues.
Can Plastic Surgery Help?
Absolutely. First, of course, you’ll need to achieve medical weight loss or weight loss through through surgery or diet and exercise. Once you’ve achieved this goal and are ready to take care of loose skin, it’s time to meet with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss plastic surgery after weight loss.
All patients and situations are different. Body contouring procedures after weight loss may include any combination of the following:
- Tummy Tuck
- Upper Body Lift
- Lower Body Lift
- Arm Lift
- Thigh Lift
- Brazilian Butt Lift
- Face and Neck Lift
- Breast Augmentation
- Breast Lift
- Breast Reduction
- Male Breast Reduction Surgery
The main goal with body contouring is typically to reduce excess skin — getting rid of unwanted skin folds and wrinkles so that your skin matches the new contours of your body. Of course, we also want to reshape your body to match your desired look.
Women may want more curves and perkier breasts. Men may want tighter abs and a flatter chest. You are the designer of your destiny.
You will be able to discuss your goals in detail with your plastic surgeon at your consultation appointment. You can then create a plan that meets your needs and fits your budget.
FAQ: Ozempic and Plastic Surgery
Is Ozempic safe for chronic weight management?
This is a hot-button topic. Yes, some negative side effects and even serious health problems have been associated with Ozempic use. These include digestive and kidney diseases, severe liver injury, abdominal pain, decreased appetite, etc. However, many professionals argue that helping chronically overweight and obese patients lose weight does far more good than bad.
It can help with weight related health conditions such as diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and heart disease, and it can even help treat depression. The decision to use this weight loss drug to lower your weight and body mass index (BMI) and maintain weight loss over time should ultimately be between you and your doctor.
Where can I find more information on medical weight loss with Ozempic?
If you are looking for a medical weight loss program New York City offers many obesity treatment programs. Prescription drugs may or may not be a part of your solution. Just be sure to choose a licensed, experienced, and trusted provider. Search medical weight loss program NY to learn more.
How much does achieve medical weight loss cost?
Costs vary if you are considering weight loss via medication use. Talk to a licensed provider to learn more.
Request a Consultation Appointment
Consultation appointments are imperative to the success of your plastic surgery care. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Matthew Schulman will go over your medical history, perform a short physical exam, and talk with you about your goals and options.
Patients often have lots of questions at these appointments as well, and that’s great. Whether you want to know about the required BMI for weight loss surgery body contouring, what recovery is like, how much your procedure will cost, or anything else, Dr. Schulman is here to meet your needs.
Please contact us today to set up your consultation for body contouring surgery after medical weight loss with Dr. Matthew Schulman. We look forward to hearing from you!