Weight loss surgery for type 2 diabetes is now being supported around the world as a standard treatment for some patients, with medical experts providing further evidence of its effectiveness. Metabolic (bariatric) surgery refers to procedures such as gastric sleeve surgery and gastric bypass.

Metabolic surgery (gastric sleeve, gastric bypass), previously designed solely for weight loss, 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.

weight loss surgery for type 2 diabetes

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 controlled well, despite treatment with either oral or injectable diabetes medications. These new evidence-based guidelines for the surgical treatment of type 2 diabetes have emerged from an international diabetic conference. The guidelines and approach to 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?

When a patient undergoes metabolic surgery huge changes take place in the gastro-intestinal anatomy. These changes can lead to weight loss, and in some cases they can also improve the patient’s ability to process sugars. There are many theories as to why this happens. Some experts say that changes in gut hormones allow the patient to process glucose better. Others point to surgery leading to a more effective bile acid metabolism. Others say surgery can improve the rate of nutrient sensing and metabolism in the intestinal tract. New theories also point to an improvement in gut microbiota following surgery.

You can read more about this research here: Metabolic Surgery for Type 2 Diabetes: Changing the Landscape of Diabetes Care

What do these findings mean for type 2 diabetics?

These conclusions should mean improved clinical approaches to type 2 diabetes in Australia and 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. We are hoping that this consensus on the effectiveness of metabolic surgery in diabetic patients, will mean 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.

“We’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 SMH.

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

Would you like to know more about weight loss surgery for type 2 diabetes?

We offer the full range of weight loss surgery procedures for the treatment of obesity and metabolic disease. We provide gastric sleeve surgery, gastric bypass surgery, lap band surgery as well as non-surgical intra-gastric balloon, at two Sunshine Coast hospital locations.

About Weight Loss Solutions Sunshine Coast

Weight Loss Solutions Sunshine Coast is an integrated team of bariatric surgeons and weight loss health professionals, focused on long term patient outcomes for the treatment of obesity and metabolic disease. The surgery team consists of Dr James Askew, Dr Garth McLeod, and Dr Benedict Mackay, who are experienced general and bariatric surgeons. They consult and operate on the Sunshine Coast as well as select regional Queensland locations. Weight Loss Solutions Sunshine Coast offers bariatric/metabolic surgery procedures such as gastric sleeve and gastric bypass as well as revisional surgery. Patient recovery and long term wellness following surgery is enhanced with the integration of diet, psychology and exercise alongside regular surgical follow-up. 

Find out more about weight loss surgery