Weight Loss Surgery in Diabetics, is it the Answer?

Weight loss surgeries in diabetes patients

In dealing with diabetes, especially type 2, everything seems to be more complicated with excess weight. Despite having the adrenaline in working out and holding on to healthy meals, sometimes, you feel tired and start to consult for options which can give faster results. Surgery is now being introduced as a resort for cutting off extra fats. However, always be reminded that it may bring both positive and negative outcome. It will change not only your weight but your lifestyle, nutrition and total well-being too. If you are considering surgery as a management for diabetes and obesity, you can check our list of pros and cons.


What are the advantages of weight loss surgery in diabetics?

  1. From a study in the United States, 102 patients had surgery. 80% of them were free from diabetes and the rest found it more manageable as the need for medication is decreased.
  2. Another study in Australia was conducted using 60 people with type 2 diabetes. After having gastric banding, diabetes cutback to 70% in two years as compared to 13% of the non-operated patients.
  3. The initial findings in an ongoing five years study in the United States claims that 90% of patients with type 2 diabetes were able to stop or lessen their medications after having a weight-loss surgery.
  4. An Italian research made comparisons between gastric banding, gastric sleeve and gastric bypass. Despite the differences, all were found to be very beneficial in treating diabetes. Hormonal changes from the surgery led to decrease weight and a controlled level of blood sugar. 60-80% percent of patients also who had any of these surgeries either stopped or reduced their medications.

What are the disadvantages of weight loss surgery in diabetics?

  1. In one study, 35% of a total of 4500 patients who had a gastric surgery redeveloped diabetes after five years. They include those on insulin therapy and had long-term diabetes before undergoing the surgery.
  2. 1/3 of patients who underwent gastric banding experienced erosion and had the band removed.
  3. Complications may occur like nutrient deficiencies and other digestive problems.

What are the types of gastric surgeries?

Gastric Banding

This is the most common type and it is considered as the most flexible. It prevents you from eating too much because it controls your feeling of being full. Through a keyhole surgery, a silicone band is attached to the top of the stomach and an access port is inserted under the skin which is connected to the band for saline injection which helps the band to stay in place over time. This is just a quick surgery and the band can be easily removed in case it didn’t work well for you. You just need to adjust your eating habits to avoid regurgitation and slippage.

Gastric Sleeve

This type requires you to have 2/3 of your stomach removed to reduce its capacity and decrease levels of appetite hormones. Despite cutting a portion of the stomach, the remaining part is still capable of absorbing nutrients. However, this is not reversible like gastric banding. There are also risks of infection in case fluid leaks in the staple line.

Gastric Bypass

This differs from gastric sleeve because it involves the participation of the small intestine. They reposition the small intestine to slow down digestion and reduce absorption. This may lead to drastic weight loss. However, it can cause infection and nutritional deficiencies due to decrease absorption. It can also lead to dumping syndrome which causes nausea, dizziness and diarrhea.

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