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Semaglutide is a revolutionary tool for healthy weight loss without combatting incessant hunger. This once-a-week injection is convenient for patients with busy lives. You may know it by its brand names Ozempic, Wegovy, or Rybelsus

Semaglutide works by altering insulin production within the body and slowing the digestive process, which causes a feeling of satiation. Since it impacts insulin levels, type 2 diabetics can also benefit from semaglutide as a supplemental treatment. 

If you have been struggling to get to a healthy weight and feeling confident about your body, semaglutide can help you make smarter food choices and make the process easier. At Plastic Surgery Specialists our providers only believe in prescribing safe, well-researched medications alongside expert advice for those going through their weight loss journey. To get started, call us at (415) 925-2880, and a member of our team will help you schedule your consultation. You can also reach us by scheduling your virtual or in-person online consultation. 

About Semaglutide 

Since gaining FDA approval in 2017, semaglutide has become one of the most popular weight-loss tools today. The medication works by stimulating insulin production in the pancreas. Insulin is the hormone that helps break down sugar in our food. It accomplishes this by imitating another hormone called GLP-1, which is directly responsible for insulin regulation. 

How Does Insulin Regulation Work?

People without diabetes have fluctuating insulin levels throughout the day. Although these levels fluctuate throughout the day, they are most impacted by food and how often we eat. Type 2 diabetics use this medication to stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin. Unmanaged high blood sugar can lead diabetics to more severe conditions like heart and kidney diseases and even nerve damage. (1) Those who struggle with weight management use the insulin that travels to the hypothalamus part of the brain to signal that the body is full. 

What Does the Research Say? 


Even though semaglutide has been available for public use for less than a decade, numerous research studies prove its effectiveness and safety. For example, one study demonstrated that participants benefited most from just 2.4 mg of weekly semaglutide. With just this tiny amount of the medication, the patients in the study lost 28% of their initial recorded weight. Their BMI averaged 37.9, showing that obese individuals achieved significant weight loss. (2) In addition, the study took place over 68 weeks, demonstrating that semaglutide could facilitate weight loss at a healthy, gradual rate.

Benefits of Semaglutide

Here is a comprehensive overview of the benefits semaglutide can offer: 

  • You can achieve your goal weight without intense cravings. 
  • You will have better energy levels and less joint pain. 
  • You will have quality oxygenation throughout your body, helping alertness and physical fitness. (3) 
  • You can gain more confidence in how your body looks- it affects you physically, emotionally, and mentally.
  • The medication has been shown to support heart health. (4)


Candidates for semaglutide injections are over the age of 18 and within the overweight and obese range (BMI between 25 and 35) or type 2 diabetics looking for supplemental treatment. If you are a type 2 diabetic, your designated provider at Plastic Surgery Specialists will be sure to closely monitor your blood sugar to ensure you don’t experience hypoglycemia, a condition where blood sugar drops too low. For safety reasons, semaglutide isn’t prescribed to those taking another GLP-1 agonist medication. The medication is also not suitable for those with a history of gallstones, chronic kidney disease, pancreatitis, or medullary thyroid cancer. 

Personal Consultation

If you want to learn more about the benefits of semaglutide, the patient coordinators and doctors at Plastic Surgery Specialists will provide empathetic guidance and a personalized treatment plan that works for you. Dr. Yngvar Hvistendahl and Dr. Stanley Poulos are all board-certified plastic surgeons with decades of experience helping patients look and feel like the best versions of themselves. Schedule a consultation today by calling (415) 925-2880, using our online consultation page, or visiting our location in Marin County, CA. 

Treatment Plan 

At the start of your treatment, your Weight Loss specialist will prescribe weekly 0.25 mg injections to monitor how you respond to the medication. You will be sent home with a month’s supply of medication to self-inject on a weekly basis. After four weeks or four doses, you return to the office for a check-in and Inbody 570 weigh-in to check progress. Depending on your results,   our experts may increase the dosage to 0.5 mg if needed, while monitoring side effects. Every four weeks, your provider will prescribe a greater dosage if necessary until you reach 2.4 mg, which is the maximum amount for injections. If you choose to take semaglutide in pill form, there are two available dosages: 7 mg and 14 mg. These dosages take into account that some of the semaglutide is lost in the digestive process- one reason why injections are considered a superior method of administration. If at any point you experience gastrointestinal upset, your provider can prescribe a lower dose that is most suitable for you. 

Maintaining Results

While semaglutide is a powerful medication that can transform your overall wellness and vitality, healthy habits are crucial to learn for long-term success. Our counselors provide a balanced plan of healthy choices, activity, and portion control. Our team of knowledgeable patient coordinators at Plastic Surgery Specialists help you find a realistic diet that meets your nutritional requirements. Though you will feel less hungry, eating overly processed, high-calorie foods will still cause weight gain. Additionally, our providers highly recommend increased movement and weight training to build muscle while losing fat. 

Your results will depend on:

  • Healthier eating
  • Level of activity 
  • Weight at the start of treatment 
  • Metabolic rate 
  • Chosen diet

Those with severe obesity (class II or class III) tend to shed weight much more easily and will see significant results in as little as a couple of weeks. For some, it could take up to a month. The key to success is to be proactive for the duration of your treatment and embrace a lighter, healthier, more energetic you. 

Corresponding & Complementary Procedures 

Body Contouring After Weight Loss 

Losing weight is a great achievement to celebrate, but patients often have to deal with loose, lax skin after the decrease in bulk. If your weight loss causes sagging in various areas of your body and face, consider one of the many procedures to lift and tighten loose skin offered at Plastic Surgery Specialists: 

  • Full Body Lift 
  • Tummy Tuck 
  • Arm Lift 
  • Facelift 
  • Neck Lift 
  • Brow Lift 

In addition, due to genetics, some patients find that they will still have stubborn, unwanted deposits of fat even after weight loss. If your skin is rigid and youthful, you may be able to get amazing results with liposuction– an effective, minimally invasive procedure to sculpt your ideal contours.  

Cost of Semaglutide in Marin County, CA 

The cost of your semaglutide treatment will be determined at the time of your consultation with Plastic Surgery Specialists. Costs include the price of the medication, follow-up appointments, and other diagnostic tests to ensure you are a good candidate for semaglutide injections. If interested, please consider our financing options like CareCredit, Prosper, PatientFi, and Alphaeon Credit, which allow patients to make affordable payments to cover the cost of their treatment. To find out more, dial (415) 925-2880 or inquire online to experience the quality care offered at our practice. 


What will happen if I miss a dose of semaglutide? 

If you miss the injection date, you should take the dose as soon as possible. If five or more days have passed since your assigned date, wait until your next dosage date, and do not double the amount. If you miss a semaglutide pill, just resume as usual the next day. 

What kind of side effects are common with semaglutide injections? 

Although doctors do their best to prescribe the right dosage and increase the amount of semaglutide steadily, sometimes, side effects occur. The most common include constipation, diarrhea, hypoglycemia, and feelings of nausea. These can be mitigated by taking a lower dosage. 

What dosage of semaglutide is most effective? 

Semaglutide injections affect every patient differently, so the optimal amount differs for everyone. 

Is semaglutide safe for those who take insulin?

If you are taking insulin with semaglutide, you are at an increased risk of experiencing hypoglycemia, so you and your doctor will have to pay close attention to your semaglutide usage and adjust accordingly. 

Do I have to increase my dosage of semaglutide? 

If you are below the maximum prescribed amount of semaglutide, but are getting the results you want, you should remain at your current dosage. 


  1. Mouri Mi, Badireddy M. Hyperglycemia. National Library of Medicine. Published 2019.
  2. Wilding JPH, Batterham RL, Calanna S, et al. Once-Weekly Semaglutide in Adults with Overweight or Obesity. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2021;384(11). doi: 
  3. Vaughan RW, Cork RC, Hollander D. The effect of massive weight loss on arterial oxygenation and pulmonary function tests. Anesthesiology. 1981;54(4):325-328. doi:10.1097/00000542-198104000-00013 
  4. Singh G, Krauthamer M, Bjalme-Evans M. Wegovy (semaglutide): a new weight loss drug for chronic weight management. Journal of Investigative Medicine. Published online October 27, 2021:jim-2021-001952. doi: