This drug could help prevent weight regain after weight loss surgery

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Researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center have published a study indicating that anti-obesity medications like semaglutide can effectively help manage weight that is regained following bariatric surgery.

The study found semaglutide to be more effective than liraglutide in weight management, providing new avenues for treating post-bariatric surgery weight gain.

The Challenge of Post-Bariatric Weight Regain

While bariatric surgery is a common option for people struggling with obesity, weight regain following the surgery poses a significant problem.

It can exacerbate other health conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease. Jaime Almandoz, M.D., Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at UTSW, noted that there is limited data on how to treat weight regained after bariatric surgery effectively.

The Medications in Focus: Semaglutide vs. Liraglutide

The study evaluated two FDA-approved anti-obesity medications: semaglutide (Wegovy), a weekly injection, and liraglutide (Saxenda), a daily injection.

Both belong to the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist class and function by controlling appetite and satiety.

The study compared the effectiveness of these two drugs, using data from 207 adults treated at UTSW’s Weight Wellness Program between 2015 and 2021.


The results showed that those taking semaglutide lost an average of 12.9% of their body weight after 12 months, compared to an average of 8.8% among those taking liraglutide.

Moreover, patients on semaglutide were more than twice as likely to lose at least 10% of their body weight. These results remained consistent across different ages, sexes, and types of bariatric surgeries.

Dr. Almandoz stated that the study’s findings affirm the effectiveness of GLP-1 receptor agonists in treating weight regained after bariatric surgery and point to semaglutide as a superior option to liraglutide.

The results could potentially influence future guidelines for post-bariatric surgery weight management.


This UT Southwestern study fills an important gap in our understanding of treating weight regain after bariatric surgery.

With obesity being a significant health concern for many, these findings could be a game-changer in improving post-surgical outcomes.

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The research findings can be found in Obesity.

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