No Mo’ Yo-Yo

Lifelong dieter ends up-and-down trend with customized weight-loss protocol.

Michelle, holding her grandchild, lost 45 pounds during her first six months on the GaliDerm program and hopes to drop another 10 to 15.

Michelle O’Brien has been a surgical scheduler for nearly 20 years. She currently provides that service for a neurosurgeon. About a year ago, Michelle began working remotely, which she absolutely loves.

“I have my own little office, where I have peace and quiet and can get my work done, which is important,” the Miami native asserts. 

Looking and feeling good are also important to Michelle, who has struggled to keep her weight in check for years.

“I’ve yo-yo dieted most of my life,” she laments. “I’d lose weight, then gain it back; lose it, then gain it back again. Then one day, I noticed that everybody at the practice I go to for aesthetic services was losing weight.”

That practice is GaliDerm Aesthetics & Plastic Surgery. After inquiring about weight loss, Michelle learned from aesthetic and weight loss specialist Cigdem Gali, MSPA, PA-C, that a number of patients had begun taking semaglutide

Proprietary Formulation

Approved by the FDA for weight-loss management in 2021, semaglutide stimulates the pancreas to secrete more insulin, a hormone that helps sugar from food enter cells to be used as energy. 

“The increased insulin makes patients feel full, so they eat smaller portions and don’t reach for snacks between meals,” Cigdem explains. “Consequently, they gradually lose weight, typically one to two pounds per week. “We perform the initial injection and then teach patients to inject themselves using small insulin syringes, so the injections are painless.”

GaliDerm Aesthetics & Plastic Surgery’s program uses a proprietary formulation that combines semaglutide with L-carnitine, a fat-burning amino acid that promotes further weight loss.

“We customize our protocol based on information gathered about the patient from an advanced 3D body scan and a comprehensive health history,” Cigdem says. “The information from the 3D body scan provides us with information such as the amount of muscle versus fat a patient has, as well as full body measurements including their personal daily calorie expenditure. This differentiates our results from other offices because we are able to customize dosing for our patients based on their body measurements.

“We perform a 3D body scan every three months to guide us during the patient’s weight loss journey. The scans give us a better understanding of where each patient stands in the process. They let us know if we need to change their medication dose or address their daily habits to get them back on track.”

Cigdem initially gave all patients the same dose of semaglutide, but that approach has since changed.

“Early on, I did what everybody else was doing,” she describes. “But I noticed some patients were experiencing side effects such as nausea, constipation and heartburn. I quickly started titrating the medication based on each patient’s needs. As a result, the side effects decreased and the weight fell off faster.

“Every patient is different, their metabolic makeup, lifestyle; eating habits and more all play a huge role in the end results. We customize each patients’ dose based on their desired weight loss and any side effects that are experienced. I follow-up with patients every four weeks and adjust the dosage, if necessary.”

GaliDerm Aesthetics & Plastic Surgery’s weight loss program is tailored to the individual based on activity level, lifestyle, diet and amount of weight the person desires to shed.

“People who want to lose 10 or 15 pounds stay on the program about three months and lose that and more,” Cigdem discloses. “Our patients typically see 15 to 25 pounds of weight loss in their first two months. People who want to lose 50 to 100 pounds may be on the program for a year.

“With our program, patients lose weight without dieting and exercising, although we recommend that they eat healthy and exercise regularly.”

“Life-Changing” Results

Michelle, 51, started the weight loss protocol in July. At the time, she weighed 223 pounds. She lost 25 pounds during the first three months and another 20 during the holiday months.

“My goal is to get down to 165 pounds,” Michelle explains. “Anything less and I’ll probably look sick, and I don’t want that. It’s all about looking, feeling and being healthy because I have a new grandbaby that I want to be around for.

“And thanks to this weight loss program from GaliDerm Aesthetics & Plastic Surgery, I’m going to get there. I really can’t say enough good things about the program. It really has been life-changing.”

Michelle is also impressed with the aesthetic and weight loss specialist who’s guiding her on her weight loss journey. 

“Cigdem is amazing. She’s the best. I absolutely love her,” Michelle raves. “She explains everything perfectly to make sure you understand. She’s not one of those physician assistants that comes in just expecting you to understand. She puts things in laymen’s terms. And she’s the sweetest person ever, very down to earth.

“The entire staff is very welcoming and friendly. They’re all super nice people. If you have questions, they don’t make you feel like you’re bothering them. They take the time to help you understand exactly what’s going on. 

“Everybody at GaliDerm Aesthetics & Plastic Surgery is very good to me. They have a patient for life in me.” 

© FHCN staff article

As seen in North/West Palm Beach and South Palm Beach editions of  Florida Health Care News.

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