Weight loss surgery versus “skinny jab”
There are many weight loss options nowadays including diet, exercise, medications and interventions. If you are unsure which is best for you, here are some of the points to consider when you face a dilemma between injectable weight loss medication, which is known commercially as the “skinny jab”, and other interventions such as gastric band, sleeve, bypass and gastric balloon. Many providers have used the description “skinny jab” which is controversial as there are no guarantees for weight loss and each person may have varying sensitivity to the medication. Needless to say that your consultant surgeon will go through your medical history and advise on what is the best weight loss method for you.
Who is it for?
This is a prescription medication that is injected daily into the abdomen and it works by suppressing appetite, cravings and decreasing the amount of time the stomach takes to empty. To be eligible for the ‘skinny jab’ drug you need to have a BMI above 30 or BMI above 27 with a weight-related illness, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.If you have thought about losing weight and seem to always yo-yo weight regain after a diet but would rather avoid surgery, then perhaps medication is worth a try. As long as you have no liver, kidney or thyroid problems you should be able to successfully administer this jab.
Weight Loss Surgery
To be eligible for a Gastric Balloon you need to have a BMI of 27 or above, for a Gastric Band it is a BMI of 30 or above and for Gastric Sleeve or Gastric Bypass a BMI of 35 or above with a weight related illness determines eligibility. Any person with a BMI 40 and above is a candidate for surgical intervention and when BMI hits 50 and above surgery is recommended as the first line intervention ahead of any others.
Expected weight loss?
It varies from person to person, however a study shows 5-10% of body weight can be lost in the first 3 months with the use of injectable weight loss medication. Different people have different sensitivities to the medication, so if the weight loss is not achieved then the medication is not suited for you and you should stop it.
Weight Loss Surgery
Weight loss is measured in terms of a percentage of the excess weight which is calculated as the amount of weight carried above a BMI of 25. A gastric balloon averages 30-35% of excess body weight lost, whilst a gastric band leads to an average weight loss of 40-50% of your excess weight over the first 2 years. Many patients have achieved much better results than this though, as it really depends on how well you follow the program and change your lifestyle.
On average patients who had the sleeve lost 60-70% on average of their excess weight, like any other weight loss procedure the result varies between patients. With the gastric bypass you achieve the most dramatic result, on average you can lose around 70-80% of excess body weight within 2 years of surgery.
How much does it cost?
“Skinny jab” cost
We recommend a 12 week program as a minimum, only then will the effectiveness of the medication be established. The cost for a 12 week program is approximately £1300. This price includes:
-Initial consultation with a Consultant who will carry out a health assessment and prescribe the right dosage for you.
-Medication prescribed and supplied to your front door for 12 weeks.
-12 week meal plan with a dietician to get the most out of the program.
Weight loss surgery cost
The average cost of a Gastric band in the UK is between £6000 and £8000, Weight loss Surgery Kent offers bands from £6,645 and gastric balloons from £4,465. Our all inclusive packages for Gastric sleeve start from £10,035 and for a gastric bypass from £10,500. These operations can cost on average £9000-£15000 in the UK. We have competitively priced our packages taking into consideration the experience of the team looking after you and the personalised care of a small team of individuals who have direct contact with you as opposed to call centres and virtual or telephone appointments.
What are the possible side effects?
Common side effects of “Skinny Jab”
- Abdominal discomfort or indigestion
Common side effects of weight loss surgery
- Acid reflux
- Nausea and vomiting
- Infection or clots in leg veins which are general risks of surgery
- Conversion to an open procedure
- Dumping (Gastric bypass only) is caused by food being released too quickly or due to rapid hormonal changes. Symptoms may include feeling sick, palpitations, sweating, bloating, diarrhea, dizziness, and fatigue. Laying down after eating can help.
It is not uncommon to feel slightly sick in the first few days after your procedure. Your consultant will discuss all of the possible complications, side effects, and other aspects of your patient journey before you decide to have weight loss surgery.
How can I get started?
To explore various weight loss options to find out what is right for you, book an appointment with a Consultant. In the initial consultation your weight loss goals, current situation, and medical history will be discussed in depth. This will allow a personalised approach to weight loss to be agreed and implemented with you.