Bariatric Surgery vs. Semaglutide: Which is Right for You?

Obesity is a prevalent health issue affecting millions worldwide. While diet and exercise are the first line of treatment, they may not be sufficient for some individuals. Bariatric surgery and semaglutide (Ozempic, Wegovy) are two options that can help with weight loss. If you are interested to learn about more options check out the The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) website which has resources on weight loss treatments, including semaglutide.

Bariatric surgery involves making changes to the digestive system to reduce food consumption and absorption. There are various options like the gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and adjustable gastric band. It’s typically recommended for individuals with a BMI of 40 or above, or a BMI of 35 or above with obesity-related health conditions. Semaglutide is a medication that mimics the effects of the hormone GLP-1 to regulate appetite and blood sugar levels. It’s administered as a weekly injection and is approved for individuals with a BMI of 30 or above.

One difference between the two options is that bariatric surgery is a more invasive procedure that physically alters the digestive system, while semaglutide works by targeting hormones and is an injectable medicaiton. Bariatric surgery has a longer recovery time and higher risk of complications, while semaglutide may cause side effects such as nausea and diarrhea. Check out the The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) website for information on bariatric surgery, including risks and benefits.

Bariatric surgery can result in significant weight loss of ~60-80% of excess body weight, while semaglutide typically results in an average total body weight loss of ~15%. Ultimately, the choice between the two options will depend on the individual’s health status, preferences, and goals. Consultation with a healthcare provider is recommended to determine which is the best choice for you.

In summary, bariatric surgery and semaglutide are two options for weight loss. Bariatric surgery physically changes the digestive system, while semaglutide targets hormones that regulate appetite and blood sugar levels. The choice between the two options depends on individual factors.

Highlights – Pros and Cons Bariatric surgery vs. semaglutide

Bariatric Surgery


Associated with significant weight loss

Durable long term weight loss

Does not require weekly injections

May resolve numerous obesity related medical conditions


Higher risk associated with surgery and anesthesia like bleeding, infection and blood clots.

Longer recovery time from surgery

Long term complications such as bowel obstrution and hernias



Once weekly injections

No associated recovery time

Less potential complications

Modest weight loss without need for surgery

Lower up front cost


May cause side effects, such as nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting

Requires ongoing use to maintain weight loss results

May not be effective for individuals with severe obesity or certain health conditions


Potential Side effects of Semaglutide

Semaglutide is a widely used medication for weight loss (Wegovy) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (Ozempic), but like any medication, it has potential side effects that should be considered. Understanding the potential side effects of semaglutide (Ozempic, Wegovy) is important in making informed decisions about treatment options.

Common side effects of semaglutide use include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, headache, fatigue, and dizziness. These side effects can often be managed with dosage adjustments or other medications. However, less common but serious side effects may require immediate medical attention.

Common Potential Side Effects of Semaglutide

  • Nausea (20-30%)
  • Vomiting (10-20%)
  • Diarrhea (10-20%)
  • Constipation (10-20%)
  • Abdominal pain (5-15%)
  • Headache (10-15%)
  • Fatigue (5-10%)
  • Dizziness (5-10%)

For more information visit the Ozempic website

Potential Serious Side Effects of Semaglutide

These serious side effects include acute pancreatitis, diabetic retinopathy, kidney problems, hypoglycemia, gallbladder disease, and thyroid cancer. Diabetic retinopathy and kidney problems are of particular concern, as they are both common complications of diabetes and may be exacerbated by semaglutide use.


  • Acute Pancreatitis (less than 1%)
  • Diabetic Retinopathy (less than 1%)
  • Kidney Problems (less than 1%)
  • Hypoglycemia (less than 1%)
  • Gallbladder Disease (less than 1%)
  • Thyroid Cancer (unclear, but it is a rare side effect that has been reported in some patients)

Please note that these percentages are approximate and can vary depending on individual factors such as age, weight, and medical history. It is important to discuss any concerns or potential side effects with a healthcare provider.

Check out this post by the MayoClinic for more information

In conclusion, while semaglutide is an effective treatment option for both weight loss and type 2 diabetes mellitus, it is important to be aware of the potential side effects of semaglutide (Ozempic, Wegovy) associated with its use. By understanding these potential side effects and working closely with their healthcare provider, patients can safely and effectively manage their weight and diabetes.

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Semaglutide vs. Gastric Sleeve Surgery

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of people who are struggling with obesity. As a result, weight loss solutions have become a popular topic. Two of the most popular methods for weight loss are semaglutide and gastric sleeve surgery. In this blog post, we will compare and contrast these two methods, and explore which one might be right for you.

What is Semaglutide?

Semaglutide (Ozempic) is a medication used to treat type 2 diabetes, but it has also been found to be an effective weight loss tool. It is an injectable medication that works by mimicking a hormone in the body called GLP-1. This hormone helps to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce appetite. In clinical trials, people who took semaglutide (Wegovy) lost an average of 15-20% of their body weight. For more information on semaglutide for weight loss check out the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website The FDA is a government agency responsible for regulating drugs and medical devices in the United States. Their website offers detailed information on the approval of Wegovy (semaglutide) for weight management, including its safety and effectiveness, clinical trial data, and potential side effects.

What is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Gastric sleeve surgery, also known as sleeve gastrectomy, is a surgical weight loss procedure that involves removing a portion of the stomach. This procedure reduces the amount of food that a person can eat, resulting in weight loss. It is usually recommended for people with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or for those with a BMI of 35 or higher with other health problems such as diabetes or high blood pressure. For more information on gastric sleeve surgery check out the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery website

Semaglutide vs. Gastric Sleeve Surgery: Which is Better?

Both semaglutide and gastric sleeve surgery are effective weight loss tools, but they have different pros and cons.



  • Non-surgical
  • Convenient (injectable medication)
  • Can be used for people with lower BMIs (27 or higher)
  • Can help regulate blood sugar levels


  • May cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Long-term effects on weight loss are still being studied
  • May not be covered by insurance
  • Requires healthy diet and exercise regimen 

Gastric Sleeve Surgery:


  • Dramatic and long-lasting weight loss (60-70% excess weight loss in the first year)
  • May improve or resolve other health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure
  • May be covered by insurance


  • Requires surgery and anesthesia
  • Potential risks and complications such as bleeding, infection, and hernias
  • Requires a significant lifestyle change and commitment to a healthy diet and exercise regimen

Which One is Right for You?

The decision to choose between semaglutide and gastric sleeve surgery depends on your personal health goals, preferences, and medical history. If you have a lower BMI or prefer a non-surgical option, semaglutide may be a good choice for you. If you have a higher BMI and want a more drastic and long-lasting solution, gastric sleeve surgery may be the way to go.

In conclusion, both semaglutide and gastric sleeve surgery can be effective tools for weight loss. However, they have different pros and cons, and the decision of which one to choose depends on individual circumstances. It is always important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best weight loss option for you.

“There is no simple answer but the main question should be what is the overall weight loss goal”



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Dr. Lalezari is a double board certified bariatric surgeon and obesity medicine specialist board certified by the American Board of Surgery as well as the American Board of Obesity Medicine. 

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Are you considering Ozempic vs. Wegovy for weight loss and wondering which is more effective?

These two medications work by activating GLP-1 receptors in the body, which can help reduce appetite and regulate blood sugar levels. However, there are some key differences between the two drugs that may impact how effective they are for weight loss.

A common question patients ask is Ozempic vs. Wegovy which is more effective for weight loss? Ozempic is primarily used to treat type 2 diabetes. Clinical trials have shown that people taking Ozempic can lose an average of 5-10% of their body weight over the course of a year.

Wegovy was specifically developed for weight loss and has been shown to be more effective than Ozempic for weight loss. In clinical trials, people taking Wegovy lost an average of 15-20% of their body weight over the course of a year.

One of the reasons for this difference in weight loss may be due to the dosage of the medications. The recommended starting dose for Ozempic is 0.25 mg but its maxmum dose is 2.0mg. Although the starting dose of Wegovy is the same, Wegovy can be increased to 2.4 mg. This higher dose may be more effective for weight loss but may also increase the risk of side effects.

Another factor that may impact the effectiveness of these medications is their target population. Ozempic is primarily used to treat type 2 diabetes vs. Wegovy which is specifically intended as a weight loss medication. This means that people taking Ozempic for diabetes may not experience the same level of weight loss as those taking Wegovy for weight loss.

It is also important to note that both medications can cause side effects, including nausea, diarrhea, and constipation. These side effects may be more common with Wegovy due to the higher dosage. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting either medication or diet program.

In conclusion, the question of Ozempic vs. Wegovy which is more effective is easily answered. Both can aid in weight loss, Wegovy may be more effective due to its higher dosage and target population. Consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new medication, taking into account individual factors such as medical history, potential side effects, and weight loss goals.


What are the benefits of Ozempic (semaglutide) for weight loss


Ozempic (semaglutide) is a medication that can help people lose weight by reducing their appetite and regulating blood sugar. It is a GLP-1 receptor agonist, which means it can help regulate blood sugar levels. It may also reduce the need for other diabetes medications. Semaglutide can help people lose weight by reducing their appetite and increasing energy levels, making it easier to stay active and engaged in daily activities.

What are the benefits of weight loss with Ozempic (semaglutide)?

  1.  Improve overall health: Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of several health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Losing weight with semaglutide can improve overall health by reducing the risk of these conditions.
  2. Lowered blood sugar levels: Semaglutide is a GLP-1 receptor agonist, which means it can help regulate blood sugar levels. People with type 2 diabetes may benefit from semaglutide because it can help them manage their blood sugar levels and potentially reduce their need for other diabetes medications.

  3. Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease: Losing weight with semaglutide can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by improving cholesterol levels and reducing blood pressure. This is particularly important for people who are overweight or obese because they are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

  4. Increased energy levels: Carrying excess weight can be exhausting, and it can lead to fatigue and reduced energy levels. Losing weight with semaglutide can help improve energy levels, making it easier to stay active and engaged in daily activities.

  5. Improved mental health: Losing weight can improve mental health by boosting self-confidence and reducing stress levels. Semaglutide can help people feel more in control of their weight loss journey, which can lead to improved mental health and wellbeing.

  6. Improved sleep quality: Excess weight can lead to sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, which can affect sleep quality. Losing weight with semaglutide can reduce the risk of sleep apnea and improve overall sleep quality.

Who can benefit from Ozempic (semaglutide) for weight loss?

Ozempic (semaglutide) can be helpful for people who are struggling to lose weight, particularly those who are overweight or obese and at risk of health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. People with type 2 diabetes may also benefit from semaglutide because it can help them manage their blood sugar levels and potentially reduce their need for other diabetes medications. Ozempic is trademarked and indicated for those with type 2 diabetes although semaglutide is indicated for weight loss under the brand name Wegovy.

How should Ozempic (semaglutide) be used for weight loss?

Ozempic (semaglutide) should be used under the guidance of a healthcare provider. It is typically administered once a week as a subcutaneous injection. The dosage may be adjusted based on individual response and side effects.

What are the potential side effects of (Ozempic) semaglutide?

Like all medications, semaglutide may cause side effects. Common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, and constipation. Less common but more severe side effects include pancreatitis, kidney problems, and low blood sugar. People taking semaglutide should talk to their healthcare provider about potential side effects and how to manage them.

In conclusion, Ozempic (semaglutide) can be a helpful medication for people who are struggling to lose weight. It can improve overall health, regulate blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and increase energy levels. Furthermore, it can improve mental health, and improve sleep quality. It should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare provider.




7 Simple Steps to Prepare for your Botox Appointment

By Sepehr Lalezari, MD | July 31, 2020

What is Botox?

Botox® Cosmetic is an injectable neurotoxin derived from bacteria called botulinum toxin type A.  In the field of aesthetics it is injected in small amounts into the muscles of the face which lead to a relaxation of the muscles which cause forehead lines, glabellar lines and crows feet. Clinically it is used in the treatment of a variety of other disorders as well including lip lines, gummy smiles, wide jaw muscles, chronic migraine, underarm sweating, anal fistulas and more.    

Very small amounts of the neurotoxin are used to prevent signal conduction along nerves that cause muscles to contract. Therefore, the toxin causes the muscles to relax. The toxin is sold under various trade names like Botox®, Dysport®, Xeomin® and Jeuveau®

botox cosmetic

“FDA indications for Botox® Cosmetic include treatment of forehead lines, frown lines and crows feet.”

7 Simple Steps to prepare for your botox appointment

Botulinum toxin injections are relatively safe but there are a few things to keep in mind before your appointment. Below are the 7 simple steps to prepare for your Botox appointment. You want to be sure to mention certain medications and herbal supplements you are taking with your practitioner. Avoid consuming alcohol the night/day of your appointment, clean your skin and do not wear make up to your appointment, creams to apply to decrease chance of bruising. 


One week prior to your treatment date

Stop taking any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like Motrin, Ibuprofen, Aleve, etc. as wells as herbal supplements like ginko biloba, Vitamin E, fish oil, Omega 3, ginsing, tumeric, EPO, garlic, St. Johns Wart, and milk thistle.


Increase consumption of leafy green vegetables 

Foods high in vitamin K will decrease the chance of bruising and swelling. 


Clean your skin 

Before injection your practitioner will disinfect your skin with an alcohol pad but you want to make sure your skin is free of dirt and cosmetic make up prior to your appointment. Wash your face with a mild soap and rinse with warm water, then pat your face dry with a clean towel. Do not apply make-up to your face at the time of your appointment. 


Do not smoke or drink alcohol prior to your botox appointment

Stop smoking cigarettes 48hrs before your appointment. Tobacco compromises blood flow to the skin and interferes with healing and increases your chance of bruising.

Do not consume alcohol for at least 24hrs before your botox appointment.  


Plan your botox appointment around social events

Along with injections there comes a chance of bruising. You should not plan on attending any special social events or work function within a week of your appointment in case you do develop bruising. 

Do not lay down for 6hrs after your botox injection.

No intense physical activity for at least 24hrs after your botox injection. 

Do not take NSAIDS within 24hrs of your injection. Take acetaminophen for pain if needed. 


Consider starting Arnica supplements and creams

Arnica has been shown to decrease the incidence of bruising, pain and swelling after injections. Arnica supplements can be started the day prior to your procedure or the day of and continued afterwards if you develop bruising. These may be stopped once the bruising resolves. Various creams are also available which may be applied before your procedure. 


Know what to expect in terms of cost

Botox pricing varies widely average cost can range between $10-$20 per unit (don’t forget to check out our unbeatable prices). Recommended units of injection depend on the area to be injected and if its your first time being injected or its a follow up appointment. Manufacturer recommended dosages is a total of; 20Units for the forehead; 20Units for glabellar lines (frown lines); and 24Units for both lateral canthal lines (crows feet).  

How long will it take to see results from Botox?

You should start seeing effects of Botox after the first few days after injection ~3-5days. Peak effect does not occur until about 2weeks. This fact is important to keep in mind because unlike fillers, the effect of Botox is not immediate and you should wait at least 2weeks before considering potential re-injection. 

“I love non-invasive cosmetic surgery because it really helps boost self confidence and quality of life but the most important thing to consider is that no-body is perfect and that is okay! Never lose yourself in the pursuit of perfection. Always remember how beautiful and amazing you truly are!”

Sepehr Lalezari, MD



Lalezari Surgical

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North Tower, Ste 907

Los angeles, CA 90017


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