When lifestyle changes and medications aren’t effective in weight loss, some patients turn to weight-loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery. These procedures can dramatically improve blood glucose control in persons with type 2 diabetes who have obesity and most often lead to a reduce need for medications or, in rare cases, complete remission.
Your health care provider will start by calculating your body mass index, or BMI. BMI is a way of looking at both height and weight to determine if a person is underweight, healthy, or overweight.
Weight-loss surgery is generally recommended for:
- Otherwise healthy people who are severely obese (BMI greater than 40 kg/m2)
- Persons who are obese (BMI greater than 35 kg/m2) and also have an underlying obesity-related health condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, liver disease, heart disease, persistent acid reflux, osteoarthritis, or severe urinary incontinence
- The laparoscopic adjustable gastric band procedure has been approved in the U.S. for use in patients who are mildly obese (BMI greater than 30 kg/m2) and have an underlying health condition as listed above.
Most patients will notice dramatic improvements in blood glucose levels, even before any weight loss occurs. Patients who take insulin or pills for diabetes often find that they need much lower doses or sometimes their medications can be stopped. Blood glucose will become easier to control over time.
Types of weight loss surgeries:
- Laparoscopic adjustable gastric band
- Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy
- Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
The benefits of weight-loss surgery are exciting, but patients should carefully consider the potential short- and long-term complications of the procedure and the need for ongoing monitoring before making a final decision, in consultation with their health care team.