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Medically Supervised Weight Loss With Dr Lockie

In the past, your weight loss options essentially boiled down to either making substantial lifestyle changes that often prove hard to maintain or having bariatric surgery (accompanied by lifestyle changes).

Now, there’s a middle option. It’s called medically supervised weight loss.

What is medically supervised weight loss?

Medically supervised weight loss is a comprehensive program of weight loss support overseen by a doctor.

When you enrol in a medically supervised weight loss program, you may see a combination of different health professionals, including:

  • A doctor who may check your weight, cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose levels and may prescribe medications that can help you lose weight
  • A dietitian who provides advice on a healthy, nutritious diet and appropriate portion sizes
  • A psychologist who helps you change your mindset towards food.

Did you say there’s a medication that can help me lose weight?

Yes, we did.

It’s a GLP-1 analogue that mimics the hormone that regulates your hunger and suppresses your appetite. You’re not as hungry so it’s easier to eat less, which helps you lose weight.

You have daily injections using a pre-filled syringe. You start on a low dose which slowly increases until the maximum dose (though not all patients need that).

The medication is combined with support from a dietician and psychologist to maximise weight loss.

If you haven’t lost at least 5% of your initial body weight after 12 weeks on the highest dose, then we’re required to stop using it.

A review of 5 randomised placebo-controlled trials of liraglutide found that, when used alongside improved diet and physical activity, it consistently resulted in a 4-6 kg weight loss. Most patients achieved a 5-10% weight loss compared to the placebo group.

The medication has been used in studies of people with obesity with and without diabetes and in people with obstructive sleep apnoea.

The medication is approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration but is not available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme as yet, though.

Is medically supervised weight loss a good option for you?

Often, yes. Our practice offers medically supervised weight loss to people living with obesity who:

  • Do not (yet) have a high enough BMI to qualify for bariatric surgery
  • Don’t want to have bariatric surgery
  • Are struggling to lose weight before their scheduled bariatric surgery
  • Have regained weight after bariatric surgery and want to get back on track.

Which medically supervised weight loss programs are covered by insurance?

That’s never an easy question to answer because it depends on your health fund and your level of cover.

If you have extras cover, you may be able to claim a rebate for your sessions with allied health professionals like dieticians and psychologists.

How do you choose between medically supervised weight loss and bariatric surgery?

The best way to make that choice is to either talk to your GP or make an appointment with our clinic to discuss the risks and benefits of each option.

There are pros and cons to bariatric surgery. It is a recommended treatment for obesity and can help you achieve substantial weight loss alongside lifestyle changes. However, it is an invasive procedure that changes your anatomy.

Starting medically supervised weight loss with Dr Lockie

Obesity has a significant impact on your health and wellbeing. We’re keen to help you lose weight. If you’re interested in starting a medically supervised weight loss program, then please book a free consultation with our perioperative nurse and surgical assistant, Shirley Lockie.

Disclaimer

All information is general in nature. Patients should consider their own personal circumstances and seek a second opinion.

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