Weight Loss Surgery and Type 2 Diabetes

30 Oct , 2017Diabetes

Weight loss surgery to treat Type 2 Diabetes is becoming supported around the globe as a standard treatment for some patients. Many medical experts and health researchers have been gathering increasing evidence of the effectiveness of metabolic (bariatric) weight loss surgery for patients with Type 2 Diabetes.

What is Bariatric Surgery (Metabolic Surgery)?

weight-loss-surgery-diabetes-type-2-treatmentThe medical term Bariatric Surgery refers to surgical procedures such as laproscopic gastric sleeve surgery and gastric bypass.  Although there are many different surgical approaches to treat obesity, most Bariatric procedures are performed using laproscopic methods with minimal scarring. These complex weight-loss surgery procedures are best performed by a highly skilled Gastro-Intestinal Surgeon.

These surgeries influence the metabolic processes of patients as well as restricting food volume intake. Patients also need to follow special nutritional plans before and after weight loss surgery to attain good surgery results and reduce complication risks. Overall, however, patients reduce their weight; this in turn reduces their risks of obesity-related diseases, including Type 2 Diabetes.

Is Bariatric Surgery a good way to treat?

is-weight-loss-surgery-good-to-treat-type-2-diabetesIs Bariatric Surgery a good way to treat Type 2 Diabetes in overweight patients? Metabolic surgery (gastric sleeve, gastric bypass), was previously designed solely as a weight loss intervention for obesity. But Metabolic Surgery has been recognised as playing a significant role for diabetic patients.

  • In some patients, metabolic or bariatric surgery has been show to improve blood sugar levels to the point where patients have experienced long term remission of Type 2 Diabetes.
  • This can reduce medication needs and improve health outcomes.
  • Weight loss surgery for Type 2 Diabetes is now globally recommended for patients with a body mass index of 30 or more, where high blood sugar is not well controlled despite treatment with either oral or injectable diabetes medications.

International Diabetic Conference

Type 2 Diabetes Treatments: Is Bariatric Surgery a suitable option?

These new evidence-based guidelines for the surgical treatment of type 2 diabetes have emerged during several international diabetic conferences held in recent years. The Guidelines and new approaches to treating diabetes have been “hailed as the biggest change to the treatment of the disease in almost a century.” A Sydney Morning Herald article reports.

You can read the full report here: Metabolic surgery in the treatment algorithm for type 2 diabetes: a joint statement by international diabetes organisations.

How could Weight Loss Surgery for Type 2 Diabetes help patients?


  • When a patient undergoes metabolic surgery, huge changes take place in the gastro-intestinal anatomy.
  • These changes can lead to significant weight loss, and in some cases they can also improve the patient’s ability to process sugars.
  • Sleep health is also improved, which has an impact on weight, stress management and other aspects of health.
  • A healthier BMI also means the patient may feel more comfortable to exercise regularly; and may even feel more motivated to do so.
Weight Loss Surgery has been shown to reduce Type 2 Diabetes and may significantly improve patient health. 

There are many theories as to why this happens.microbiome-gut-health-diet-surgery

  • Some gut health experts believe that changes in gut hormones allows an individual to process glucose better.
  • Other medical professionals point to Bariatric Surgery as leading to a more effective bile acid metabolism.
  • Others believe Gastric Weight Loss Surgery can actually improve the rate of nutrient sensing and metabolism in the intestinal tract.
  • New theories also point to an improvement in gut microbiota following surgery.

What do these Bariatric Surgery findings mean for Type 2 Diabetics?

These conclusions should lead to improved clinical approaches to treating Type 2 Diabetes in Australia as well as internationally.

  • Currently in Australia, some of the costs of procedures such as gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band surgery are partially covered under Medicare for morbidly obese patients.
  • These surgeries are also eligible for rebates under the Private Health System.
  • Patients still pay a GAP fee for most of their surgery procedures.

What does this consensus mean to overweight patients with uncontrolled diabetes?

We are hoping that this growing consensus on the effectiveness of metabolic surgery in diabetic patients will result in better access to metabolic surgery under our health care systems for type 2 diabetic patients in Australia who fit the recommended criteria.

Professor John Dixon, physician and diabetes researcher at Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, agrees.

weight-loss-surgery-diabetes-type-ii-type2-treatmentWe’ve got to shake up our public hospital system in each state and remove the barriers that are preventing people for getting this treatment,” Professor Dixon told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Both diabetes, and obesity are diseases which have grown to epic proportions in our society. Physicians look to this research to provide the type of guidance which will ensure that all Australians are given better health outcomes going forward.

Exactly why metabolic surgery is effective in treating diabetes type 2, and ultimately, why this disease occurs at all, are exciting and important questions researchers can begin to ask in this field.

Weight Loss Surgery for Treating Diabetes (Type 2 Diabetes)

Research found that Type 2 Diabetes went in to remission in up to 78% of patients treated with weight loss surgery.

Would you like to know more about Weight Loss Surgery options as a possible treatment for Type 2 Diabetes?

At Centre for Weight Loss, we are an integrated team of Bariatric Surgeons and Weight Loss Health Professionals. We are focused on long-term patient outcomes for the treatment of obesity and metabolic disease. The Gastric Surgery team is lead by the Director, Dr Arun Dhir, with associate Surgeons Dr Jacob Vanyai along with experienced and acclaimed dietitians and wellness coaches.

We offer a wide range of Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery procedures for treating obesity and metabolic diseases, including Type 2 Diabetes.  Ask us for a consultation to discuss gastric sleeve surgery, gastric bypass surgery, lap band surgery or other options.

Do you have Type 2 Diabetes and want to know if Weight Loss Surgery will help?

Contact our Bariatric Surgeons and weight loss consultations to discuss your options for Weight Loss Surgery or phone us on (03) 9466 7799.

Articles: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/39/6/861

Press Release on Consensus from Diabetes Organisations Worldwide re Metabolic Surgery as a Standard Treatment Option for Type 2 Diabetes

Bariatric/Metabolic Weight Loss Surgery for Type 2 Diabetes: What the Studies Found