How Does Weight Loss Surgery Affect Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is the most common form of diabetes.  Complications from this disease can lead to more serious health conditions such as hypertension and stroke.  Type 2 diabetes can also lead to premature death; in fact, studies show that the risk of premature death can be increased by as much as 80% in patients with T2DM.

According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, “Obesity is the primary cause for type 2 diabetes.” Therefore, most patients diagnosed with T2DM can improve their health by losing weight.

One of the most effective forms of weight loss treatments for obesity is bariatric surgery.  It has been found that undergoing bariatric surgery and adhering to a prescribed diabetes treatment plan can improve blood sugar levels and cause remission of the disease in most patients. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery reports that “Nearly all individuals who have bariatric surgery show improvement in their diabetic state.” Surgery may improve type 2 diabetes in approximately 90% of patients by either lowering blood sugar, reducing the dosage of medication needed or improving health problems associated with diabetes.

The two most popular bariatric surgeries are the sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass procedures. In the sleeve gastrectomy procedure, a large portion of the stomach is removed and a smaller, new stomach in the shape of a tube or “sleeve” is created.  During bypass surgery, a new small stomach pouch is created, and a section of the small bowel is bypassed. Both surgeries can offer excellent long-term results and positive outcomes in most patients. They are typically performed laparoscopically, utilizing a minimally invasive approach.   Laparoscopic surgery can offer patients several benefits including shorter hospital stays, shorter recovery time and less scarring.

Although bariatric surgery is considered safe, it is important that patients understand the risks of surgery. As with most major surgical procedures, the risks can include bleeding or other complications.

At Flushing Hospital’s Bariatric Surgical Center, procedures are performed utilizing minimally invasive techniques including robotic surgery. The Center also provides many compassionately delivered services to help patients succeed in every step of their weight loss journey including close physician monitoring, pre and post-surgical psychological evaluations, personalized diet and nutritional counseling as well as ongoing education and support groups.

For more information about the Bariatric Surgery Services at Flushing Hospital or procedures performed by our doctors, please call 718-670-8908

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.