Weight loss surgery and Type 2 diabetes

Weight loss surgery can be a very effective way of losing weight and putting Type 2 diabetes into remission.

Evidence shows that surgery is a very effective treatment option for some people with Type 2 diabetes, but remember, everyone is different, so treatment will vary depending on your own individual needs.

The surgery involves bypassing or reducing the size of your stomach — so you feel fuller sooner and eat less. This type of surgery is known as bariatric surgery or metabolic surgery.

Bariatric surgery and diabetes

For people with Type 2 diabetes, bariatric surgery isn’t just about weight loss. It is now seen as an actual treatment for Type 2 diabetes, and the weight loss becomes a bonus. It helps your body to produce and use insulin more efficiently and effectively.

Research has shown people’s blood sugar levels dropping to below the diabetes range soon after surgery, even when they haven’t lost weight. Because of this, most people who have bariatric surgery have their diabetes medications stopped soon afterwards. 

Bariatric surgery changes the way the digestive system works, in ways that are beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes. It can:

  • Make you feel full more quickly, which means you eat less
  • Change how the hormones in your gut work, which in turn affects how your body makes insulin
  • Increase the amount of bile acids that your body makes – these make your body more sensitive to insulin
  • Improve the way your body uses insulin, leading to lower blood sugar levels.

One study found that almost a third (30.4%) of people who had surgery were in remission after 15 years

While obesity is linked to Type 2 diabetes, it should be noted that not everyone who has it is obese. There are other factors, like age, ethnicity and family history that play a role in our risk of Type 2. These factors influence how well the liver and pancreas work and where we store our fat. We can’t change those things, but we can usually change our weight.

Types of bariatric surgery 

Different types of surgical procedures are available, including a gastric band, gastric bypass or a sleeve gastrectomy.

All of these procedures are offered to self-pay patients at Benenden Hospital, and our highly-experienced Bariatric Surgery team is available for consultation about the most suitable procedure for you. Remember, everyone is different so treatment will depend on your individual needs and circumstances.

  • Gastric band – a band is placed around the upper part of the stomach, which means that you won’t have to eat so much in order to feel full
  • Gastric bypass – the digestive system is re-routed to bypass most of the stomach except for a small pouch at the top. You will feel fuller sooner and absorb fewer calories from your food. This procedure has been widely used for 30 years and is seen as the UK ‘gold standard’ operation for weight loss, depending on your BMI
  • Sleeve gastrectomy – part of your stomach is removed but the intestines are not re-routed. Again, you won’t have to eat so much food to feel full

When is surgery recommended?

Weight-loss surgery should be considered for people who meet certain criteria. These include:

  • If you have a BMI of 40 or more, or a BMI between 35 and 40 and an obesity-related condition that might improve if you lost weight (such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure) 
  • If you've tried all other weight-loss methods, such as dieting and exercise, but have struggled to lose weight or keep it off 
  • If you agree to long-term follow-up after surgery – such as making healthy lifestyle changes and attending regular check-ups 

If you’re thinking about weight loss surgery, you can book an initial no-obligation consultation with the team at here at Benenden Hospital.  Simply call the Private Patient Team on 01580 363559 or complete our online form.

There have been lots of studies that have found that weight loss surgery can help put type 2 diabetes into remission; you can find more information on this and other aspects of Diabetes by visiting Diabetes UK

Weight loss surgery webinar

Find out how you can transform your life with weight loss surgery at Benenden Hospital. Watch our recent webinar with Mr Ahmed Hamouda, Consultant Bariatric Surgeon, to find out what's involved.

Private weight loss procedures at Benenden Hospital

If you want to reduce the health risks associated with being overweight, increase your life expectancy and improve your mobility, we offer fast-track access to a range of permanent and reversible bariatric procedures in a comfortable and discreet environment.

For more information, or to book a consultation, complete our online form or call our Private Patient Team on 01580 363 598.

Published on 15 February 2021