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. 

1245 Wilshire Blvd. Ste 907, Los Angeles, CA 90017


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