Weight-loss Surgery For Type 2 Diabetes: What You Should Know

Considering weight-loss surgery for Type II Diabetes? Read on to find if you are eligible and what to expect. Also, know its risks and benefits.


Type II diabetes is on the rise globally. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 86 million Americans have prediabetes, a condition that may lead to a full-blown Type II diabetes if a prompt action is not taken. Regrettably, about 90% of the prediabetics are unaware of the looming health problem. Obesity, one of the most common modifiable lifestyle factors, is key to managing Type II diabetes. To treat diabetes and manage the excess weight, your doctor may recommend a weight-loss surgery called Bariatric Surgery.

A Quick Overview of Type II Diabetes and Weight-loss Surgery

In Type II diabetes, your pancreas produces the hormone insulin, but the body fails to use it properly. As a result, the blood levels of glucose rise. This is in contrast to Type I diabetes where the pancreas produces no or very little insulin. Anyone can be affected by Type II diabetes.However, certain factors increase the risk by a significant margin. These include older age, family history, sedentary lifestyle, and obesity.

Bariatric surgery is a kind of weight-loss surgery that reduces the size of the stomach and/or absorption of the foods from the small intestines. With this surgery, you can lose up to 25% of the total body weight. Notably, such a great deal of weight loss is not possible with a combination of diet and exercise.

Can You Have Bariatric Surgery?

Remember it is not for everyone. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases(NIDDK), you should fulfill at least one of the following criteria to be eligible for the surgery.

  • A body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more (even if you do not have Type II diabetes).
  • A BMI of 35 or more and a confirmed diagnosis of Type II diabetes.

Benefits Of Weight-loss Surgery for Type II Diabetes: What You Can Expect


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No doubt, after the surgery, you will lose as much as a quarter of your total body weight. Then, the benefits will follow. The major “good” health effects include:

  • Controlled blood glucose levels. According to a study, 87% of the patients with Type II Diabetes experience a healthy decrease in blood glucose levels following the surgery.
  • Decreased need to take antidiabetic medications. Understandably, when you achieve a steady blood glucose level, you will need to take fewer medications.
  • If you follow a healthy diet and exercise, you are more likely to experience a normal blood glucose level even after discontinuing the drugs.

Key Takeaways

Weight-loss surgery is an effective surgical approach to lose excess weight and thus get a better glucose control. Many researchers believe, for a long-term relief, you should consider the surgery as early as possible.

Like any other surgical procedure, weight-loss for Type II diabetes has its own share of risks. For example, a significant loss of blood, blood clots in the lungs, and nutritional deficiency can occur following this major operation. Rarely, it may also cause a leakage from the place where the two ends of the intestines connect.

Thus, talk to your doctor about the potential risks and benefits before opting for it. That way, you can expect better treatment outcomes.


CDC. URL Link. Accessed September 27, 2017.

MedlinePus. URL Link #1; URL Link #2. Accessed September 27, 2017.

NIDDK. URL Link #1; URL Link #2. Accessed September 27, 2017.


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Shailesh is a registered pharmacist and freelance medical writer from Nepal. He has a keen interest in psychology, behavioral science, and health technology. He loves coffee, traveling, cricket and reading.