Weight loss surgery: Is it a cure of Diabetes?

July 2, 2017

Weight loss surgery earlier considered only for treating obesity is now being considered for treating diabetes. It does wonders for patients suffering from type 2 diabetes and can make a big difference in their life. For some patients, blood sugar levels get back to normal and diabetes can be cured after surgery. Within days after the surgery, patients have an improved insulin production and need fewer or no diabetes medications.

A recent study on over 20,000 patients showed that 84% who underwent gastric bypass surgery showed no signs of their type 2 diabetes post surgery. They also had rapid improvement in blood sugars, blood pressure and cholesterol after the bariatric surgery along with the elimination of the need for diabetes medications, even before significant weight loss.

Bariatric or weight-loss surgery is known as ‘metabolic surgery’ when it is performed to manage diabetes. The following are the types of commonly performed weight loss surgeries and their effects on diabetes.

Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery also known as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass reduces your stomach to a small pouch and plugs it into the middle of the small intestine causing the food to bypass most of the stomach. The operation results in significant weight-loss and causes remission of type 2 diabetes. Around 80% of patients don’t show any signs of diabetes after surgery and usually lose 60% to 80% of their extra weight. It is emerging as one of the most effective treatments for diabetes.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

In sleeve gastrectomy, a deep part of the stomach is removed and the rest stapled together into a sleeve shape. The remaining stomach is narrow and provides less room for food resulting in weight loss. This surgery affects the glucose metabolism and also causes some changes in gut hormones that favour improvement in diabetes. More than 60% of people show no signs of diabetes after this surgery and people usually lose about 50% of their extra weight.

Gastric Banding

The adjustable gastric band is a weight-loss procedure in which a band is placed around the upper portion of the stomach. It forms a small pouch where the food goes. Remission of diabetes occurs in approximately 45-60% of patients.

Who all are eligible for the metabolic surgery?

Patients with type 2 diabetes and a body mass index (BMI) equal to or over 40.0 will be eligible for the surgery. Patients with a BMI from 35.0 to 39.9 and poorly controlled type 2 diabetes can also be eligible for the surgery. If eligible, the doctor will get a detailed check-up done and test the patient’s readiness for surgery both physically and emotionally.

But how do you choose your surgery? What do you need to know more about these procedures to make an informed decision? To know more, consult our expert team of bariatric surgeons at Apollo Spectra Hospitals.