What are the alternatives to weight loss surgery? The image shows a woman exercising.

What are the alternatives to weight loss surgery?

November 30. 2023

Struggling to reach your dream weight? Are you looking for alternatives to weight loss surgery? Losing pounds is as essential to staying healthy and leading a fulfilling life as it is to looking your best and feeling confident in your own body. About 40% of adult Americans are obese, and 30% are overweight, so if you are fighting a weight loss battle, you are not alone.

Every day, more people look for effective weight loss methods to achieve their goals. Surgery procedures can be highly efficient, but that may not be an option for everybody. Thankfully, new medical weight loss options pop up every day. And I’m not talking about new fad diets that promise magical (and unattainable) results. I mean medications such as Phentermine for weight loss, Ozempic, Saxenda, and scientifically backed-up meal plans developed by expert dietitians. Do you want to find out which option suits you best? Continue reading today’s article.

How does weight loss surgery work?

Let’s start by talking a bit about weight loss surgery so you are aware of all your options. Weight loss surgery, most commonly known as gastric bypass, involves reducing your stomach size to help you achieve weight loss. During this procedure, the surgeon will remove about 75% of your stomach and use staples to create a small pouch at the top of the stomach. Then, they will redirect a portion of the small intestine so the stomach empties much further during digestion.

Weight loss surgery is incredibly effective and can help you lose up to 70% of your body weight. This procedure can also help manage conditions like type 2 diabetes and respiratory problems. However, it also has some cons, like health risks like infections and blood clots. Like any surgery, the procedure may encounter some complications, such as anesthesia risks. And besides potential complications, afterward, you will face a long post-operation recovery process. You’ll have to be hospitalized for about 3 to 5 days, and you will be able to only drink liquids (no solid foods) for a while.

Is gastric bypass an option for me?

Another downside of gastric sleeve is that not everyone is eligible. This weight loss option is meant to treat individuals with obesity or with medical reasons for not losing weight. After several attempts to lose weight through diet and physical activity, an obesity specialist may recommend weight loss surgery. But you may not qualify for this procedure if you don’t have a high body mass index (BMI) or have certain health conditions.

Best alternatives to weight loss surgery

In case you don’t qualify for getting a gastric bypass or don’t want to undergo surgery, it’s time to look for other weight-loss treatments. As mentioned, novel programs are developed each year, giving you more options to choose from and the possibility of finding one that meets all your needs. Let’s take a look at them; these are the most popular and effective non-surgical weight loss procedures.

Weight loss intragastric balloon

An intragastric balloon is an excellent alternative to temporarily reduce your stomach size without the need to undergo surgery. The device is placed in your stomach and remains there for six months, reducing stomach capacity and the amount of food you can eat at a time. This method will also slow digestion, making you feel satisfied for longer. Most patients experience significant weight loss three months into the treatment. Healthcare professionals must supervise the entire procedure, and once the gastric balloon is removed, you must still count on guidance and support from a weight loss clinic in Chicago.

The recovery process is quick; you probably can go home the same day or the next one. While this method is highly efficient, you must commit to healthy lifestyle modification, such as seeing a nutritionist and engaging in physical activity, to maintain the results.

Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty

Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG) is one of the best alternatives to weight loss surgery, and the results are very similar. A healthcare provider will decrease the size of your stomach by placing sutures on the inside of the stomach. I know what you are thinking: Don’t they need to perform surgery to do that? That’s the beauty of endoscopic weight loss procedures; they allow healthcare professionals to place devices or medication on your gastrointestinal tract without the need for surgery.

ESG works by reducing your stomach size, which limits the amount of food you can eat during a meal. Since you don’t need to get surgery for endoscopic weight loss procedures, the recovery process is much quicker. Regarding average weight loss results, with ESG, most patients experience around 20% body weight reduction during the first year.

Red light therapy

Red light therapy is a new healing method that is gaining more and more recognition as days go by. From treating hair loss and improving skin to healing muscular conditions and treating injuries, red light seems to be able to tackle a wide range of ailments. You probably heard about using red light for cosmetic purposes; it can rejuvenate skin and give you a glowing look when used correctly. But did you know some professionals are exploring the benefits of red light in weight loss management? That’s right; lipomelt red light therapy is becoming increasingly popular among weight loss treatments.

We still need more research on this method to know how it can help you achieve a healthy weight. However, we do know that red light increases cell activity – including fat cells – that has been compromised by aging or lifestyle factors. Combined with lifestyle changes, red light therapy can be a powerful tool to reach your dream weight.

Medical weight loss

Another option is to go with a medical weight loss program. What is medial weight loss? It refers to the proactive management of weight loss through diet plans, exercise programs, and healthy habits under the guidance of a professional physician. The weight loss strategy can include medications or not, depending on the health provider’s recommendation and personal choices. A medical weight loss treatment is always tailored to your specific needs and goals, making it highly successful and attainable. And you have many options to choose from, giving you a bunch of alternatives to weight loss surgery.

Weight loss drugs and supplements

Medical weight loss can include supplements or weight-loss drugs. Those can be a cocktail of vitamins and nutrients that aid weight loss – such as Lipo C injections – or drugs specially developed for weight loss – such as Wegovy.

Drugs and supplements will help you lose weight more efficiently, but that doesn’t mean you get to skip diet and exercise. You are supposed to use them to boost your weight loss journey. Some drugs, such as Ozempic weight loss, are meant to treat obesity and overweight; therefore, they are more powerful than supplements and provide more significant body weight reduction. Healthcare providers will make a plan for you, detailing the drug’s dosage, schedule, potential side effects, and everything you’ll need for the treatment to succeed.

Professional diet plan

What is the difference between a diet from a medical weight loss program and any other meal plan? The main difference relies on how customizable medical weight loss diet plans are. You won’t get a one-size-fits-all diet regime; physicians craft a personalized plan for each patient, guaranteeing the most optimal results. The diet plan often comes with a workout program to complement your journey. Doctors will also advise you about lifestyle modifications and adjustments you can try to enhance your efforts.

A diet regime on its own can be highly beneficial to lose weight, but it becomes crucial when you also take weight-loss drugs. For example, if you take Ozempic or Wegovy, you will need a semaglutide diet plan for the medications to be completely effective.

Final thoughts

If you are looking for alternatives to weight loss surgery, then you’ll be happy to find out how many options you have. All those options will make losing weight a more manageable task; however, you will still have to compromise to lead a healthier lifestyle. The non-surgical weight loss procedure you choose will depend on your current weight, goals, health condition, and personal preferences. If you are dealing with obesity, you can go with a gastric balloon to attain significant weight loss. On the other hand, if you are overweight or want to lose the extra pounds, such as pregnancy weight, a medical weight loss program can be a good fit. Do you need help deciding on a weight loss treatment? Schedule a call with me; I’ll help you find the right program.

Nurse Walton


Nurse Walton

Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Chanay received her Practical Nurse licensure and went to work in clinical specialties such as Home Health, Assisted Living, Long-Term Care and Dialysis Centers. Through this work, she realized the importance of diet, nutrition and weight loss among her patients. This led her to open A Better Weigh, Inc. Medical Weight Loss Center in 2009.

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