For A New Beginning
Although there are some limitations to the amount of weight loss, we do know that that is a very safe procedure and that's something that some people opt for sort of a mid-road that's not as invasive as surgery, but a little more invasive than some of the other things.
Those other things would include medications. There are several medications available on the market that have been shown to help people to lose weight. Being prescribed weight-loss medications does require a detailed visit with one of our providers, either an MD or a medical doctor, or one of our Physician Associates who is skilled and experienced in prescribing these medications and in applying them to the right patient, the right situation.
Medication-assisted weight loss also will generally entail seeing a dietitian and for some patients, seeing a psychologist depending on what their need and want is to help support them through their weight-loss process with the medication.
The medications tend to work by limiting folks’ appetites and by improving how the body handles calories to some extent. We do know from many studies again that the average weight loss from these medications with 6 to 12 months of use ranges between about 25 and 35 pounds. But again, that's simply an average. Every patient is an individual, of course, and these medications can be used to differing effects in different people.
And so, really, the non-surgical options have the ability to be used also in concert with surgical options. So, if somebody opted to do a medical or medication-assisted weight-loss program, that certainly doesn't preclude them from doing surgery at some point in the future. Having had surgery in the past also doesn't preclude you from doing a medication-assisted weight loss program moving forward if you meet the criteria for appropriateness for having those medications.
So, it's not an uncommon thing where we see people who've had surgery in the past who decide to come in and have a non-surgical medication-assisted program.
The nice thing with that is that these medications, at least in several smaller studies… (We're waiting on some larger ones to be completed, so we have even better information on them.) These smaller studies indicate that most people who have had surgery and then take medications lose even more weight than the average person who takes the same medications who hasn't had a surgery in the past.
There's a lot of hormonal factors and environmental factors and genetic factors that tend to contribute to the need to lose weight. And so, the medications just provide us another tool to combat those factors and help people be successful.
It really depends on each patient's individual struggles and other comorbidities as far as which medications we choose for them.
If someone's really hungry, we tend to go for more of a satiety medication. If it's cravings, we might use something different.
There are also some things that we can do with dietary choices that can help with that.
Then, if people have other conditions - that they have diabetes, or migraine headaches, some of the medications actually have a dual function and they'll treat those issues as well as provide us some weight loss. And so, we tend to go with those medication choices for people as well.
So, the idea of taking the bariatric-specific multivitamin is that those vitamins are made to prevent those deficiencies from happening. Because they're made specifically for that, you may have to take one or two of those vitamins a day versus if you were to do an over-the-counter multi, you might have to take anywhere from four to six a day.
So, the idea of taking a bariatric multivitamin after surgery is to simply prevent deficiencies from happening.
We're not looking to put people on specialized fad diets. We're looking to create something that is going to be sustainable and long-lasting.