People should stop taking weight loss drugs Ozempic and Wegovy before getting surgery, doctors say.
The American Society of Anesthesiologists, which represents more than 53,000 physicians, made the recommendation in interim guidance released Thursday.
They warned that the delayed stomach emptying caused by the drugs could leave someone suffering nausea, vomiting and aspiration — when vomit goes down the windpipe into the lungs, choking them — when they receive anesthetics.
This can prove fatal because the blockage stops fresh air — and oxygen — from reaching the lungs, causing suffocation.
The ‘miracle’ drugs which promise to help someone shed the pounds with nothing more than a weekly injection have taken America by storm, with prescriptions spiraling more than 2,000 percent since 2019. They have become so popular that there is now a nationwide shortage of the drugs.
The above highlights the interim guidance from the American Society of Anesthesiologists warning people over taking Ozempic before surgery. A GLP-1 agonist refers to Ozempic and Wegovy and delayed gastric emptying means it is taking longer for food to leave the stomach
Ozempic and Wegovy delay stomach emptying to help someone feel full for longer. But this can have unintended consequences if someone is receiving surgery
About 60,000 people in the United States go under general anesthetic every day for operations from kidney stone removals to joint replacements and fitting a gastric band fitted.
The president of the ASA, Dr Michael Champeau, said: ‘There is currently a lack of scientific data on how [the drugs] affect patients having surgery and interact with anesthesia.
‘[But] we have received anecdotal reports that the delay in stomach emptying could be associated with an increased risk of regurgitation and aspiration of food into the airways and lungs during general anesthesia and deep sedation.’
He added: ‘These complications can be serious, so we are providing guidance on when GLP-1 agonists should be stopped in advance of an elective procedure.’
The ASA recommended that patients using weekly injections of the drugs should stop using them seven days before surgery.
For those having a shot every day, they recommended not using them over the day before surgery.
If a patient has nausea, vomiting or abdominal bloating or pain on the day of surgery, then doctors said it should be delayed.
And if they have taken the drugs within the period before surgery, an ultrasound should be conducted to ensure there is no food in the stomach.
Before many surgical procedures, people are told to stop eating and drinking at midnight before surgery.
This is to keep the stomach empty and avoid any contents within the organ being forced back up through the esophagus.
But Ozempic and Wegovy delay the emptying of the stomach, meaning that even if someone stops eating and drinking the night before surgery some contents may still be present in the stomach.
Ozempic is approved for patients with diabetes, while Wegovy is approved to be used both by patients with diabetes and those who are obese.
The drugs are regularly being prescribed off-label, however, to people who are looking to lose weight or shave off a few pounds to get a ‘Bikini Body’.
In one TikTok, watched 26,800 times, @jocelyngarcia3514 shared a full-body video of her loose skin around her bum. ‘I’m humble enough to share my results and my body,’ she said
It comes amid concern over another side-effect of taking the drugs, which has been dubbed ‘Ozempic Butt’.
Slimmers who’ve lost up to 141lbs (64kg) claim the rapid weight loss has left them with ‘saggy’ behinds.
Others have complained about their derrières flattening like a ‘pancake’, including one who once underwent a Brazillian Bum Lift (BBL).
The effects, albeit in the bum, are similar to those who’ve battled ‘Ozempic face’ — with the rapid weight loss leaving some users looking ill, exacerbating wrinkles and causing the skin to sag.
The flab-busting drug doesn’t discriminate which weight it targets.
Videos highlighting the side effect by users themselves have racked up hundreds of thousands of views on TikTok.
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