Can Weight Loss Surgery Cure Type 2 Diabetes

Jun 15, 2022

Can Weight Loss Surgery Cure Type 2 Diabetes?

Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, can be performed in minimally invasive methods and can be used to treat type 2 diabetes. The surgery treats type 2 diabetes by regulating the amount of sugar in the blood. For some people, blood sugar levels tend to go back to normal post-surgery, which means you need less medication or none at all. 

Obesity and type 2 diabetes are closely linked conditions related to issues with the body’s metabolism. The same changes resulting in weight loss after surgery can also lead to the cure of type 2 diabetes.  Research shows that bariatric surgery can be quite effective for people with type 2 diabetes. 

Types of Weight Loss Surgery

There are many kinds of weight-loss operations. Some help you lose weight by reducing your stomach size, so that you feel full after small meals. Other types change the way the body absorbs nutrients, calories, and vitamins. There are also some that do both. 

  • Gastric bypass- This procedure involves making a small stomach pouch. This reduces the amount of food you can consume. When you eat, the food travels to the small pouch and bypasses the top of the small intestine. Up to 80% of patients show no signs of diabetes after the operation.
  • Sleeve GastrectomyLaparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy (LSG) minimizes the stomach size and limits intake of food. It is technically easier to perform than gastric bypass. It is also a good surgical option for many patients. Patients who are at risk for going through anesthesia or have lung and heart issues should not undergo a long surgery. Therefore, they may benefit from this operation. 
  • Duodenal Switch- Duodenal Switch (DS) is another surgical procedure that leads to calories not being absorbed well. DS is a combination of the bypass procedure and LSG. This operation creates a small stomach that is linked to the farthest part of the small intestine. The jejunum, duodenum, and part of the proximal ileum are bypassed and then linked to a point close to the ileocecal valve. This type of surgery is quite effective but also more risky than other types of procedures. 


Importance of Weight-Loss Surgery for Type 2 Diabetes

According to reports, a majority of people lose around 50% to 80% of the excess weight during the 18-24 months post-surgery. Although, the effects on blood sugar are instantaneous (within a few days) after the surgery. People who undergo this surgery can eliminate or reduce diabetes medications.

Laparoscopic gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y surgery) is effective when it comes to diabetes control. About 33% of patients do not require diabetes medication after the surgery. Within 2 years of surgery, around 85% of patients do not need medication and the diabetes goes into remission. 

The benefits also extend to high cholesterol and high blood pressure. These factors, which spike the risk of heart attacks and strokes, are improved and resolved post-operation. 

Who is a Candidate for Bariatric Surgery?

If you are planning to search for weight loss surgery doctors consult Dr. Alibhai and Dr. Gulamhusein, who have experience in performing a wide range of general surgical operations as well as robotic gallbladder surgery, acid reflux surgery, and robotic hernia surgery. 

There are certain criteria for people who meet the requirements for weight-loss surgery.

  • If your BMI is 30 or above. 
  • Do you have metabolic syndrome or diabetes type 2?
  • Have you tried to lose weight by other methods such as exercise and dieting yet struggled to keep it off?

Recovery and Outlook

The advancements to blood glucose may begin immediately after the surgery or within a few days. You may be able to probably decrease the dose of your diabetes medications and eventually stop taking them entirely. You will reduce your chances of strokes, heart attacks, and heart and kidney failures. If you take medications for these conditions, they may stop as well. In some cases, fatty liver and sleep apnea improved too. 

After surgery you will be given a liquid diet to help with healing and recovery. Over the first month, the diet will change to soft foods as prescribed by your dietitian. 

Depending upon the type of weight-loss surgery and your healing process, you may probably return to normal life and work in 3-4 weeks. 

You can get in touch with us, as our surgeons Dr. Alibhai and Dr. Gulamhusein, will determine if bariatric surgery is right for you and, if it is, which surgery option should be the ideal one.

Dr. Mustafa H. Alibhai

Dr. Alibhai, a board-certified general surgeon, passionately leads Nova Bariatrics and General Surgery. Formerly an Assistant Professor at McGovern Medical School, he’s a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons. His academic journey includes a Bachelor’s from Southern Methodist University, Medical School at UT Southwestern, and residencies at UT Southwestern. Specializing further, he completed Bariatric and Robotic Fellowships, advancing surgical techniques with a focus on patient well-being.



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