Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high blood sugar levels resulting from insulin resistance and inadequate insulin production. It is a growing global health concern, with millions of people affected worldwide. While lifestyle modifications, medication, and insulin therapy are commonly used to manage the disease, bariatric surgery has emerged as a definite treatment option for individuals with obesity and type 2 diabetes.

In this blog, we will show the effectiveness of bariatric surgery in treating type 2 diabetes and its impact on long-term health outcomes.

Understanding Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery refers to surgical procedures that aim to promote weight loss by restricting the amount of food the stomach can hold or by altering the digestion process. The most commonly performed bariatric surgeries include gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and duodenal switch. These procedures not only help individuals achieve significant weight loss but also profoundly impact metabolic health, including type 2 diabetes management.

The Impact of Bariatric Surgery on Type 2 Diabetes

Numerous studies have shown that bariatric surgery can lead to remission or significant improvement of type 2 diabetes in many individuals. The mechanisms behind this improvement are not fully understood, but it is believed to be a combination of weight loss, changes in gut hormones, and improvements in insulin sensitivity.

1. Weight loss:

Bariatric surgery ensures substantial weight loss, which can lead to improved glycemic (blood sugar) control in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Excess body weight is a significant risk factor for insulin resistance, and losing weight can enhance the body's ability to utilize insulin effectively.

2. Changes in gut hormones:

Bariatric surgery alters the release of various gut hormones, such as ghrelin, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), and peptide YY (PYY). These hormonal changes can affect appetite, food intake, and glucose metabolism, contributing to improved glycemic control.

3. Improved insulin sensitivity:

Bariatric surgery has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity, allowing the body to utilize insulin more efficiently. This can lead to better control of blood sugar levels and reduced reliance on diabetes medications.

Evidence from Research

Several studies have demonstrated the positive impact of bariatric surgery on type 2 diabetes management.

1. The Swedish Obese Subjects (SOS) study:

This long-term study followed over 4,000 individuals who underwent bariatric surgery and compared them to a control group. The study showed a significant reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes and an improvement in glycemic control among those who had undergone surgery.

2. The STAMPEDE trial:

This study compared the effects of intensive medical therapy alone versus medical therapy combined with bariatric surgery in individuals with type 2 diabetes and obesity. The results showed that bariatric surgery resulted in better glycemic control and higher rates of diabetes remission compared to medical therapy alone.

3. The Cleveland Clinic study:

A recent study conducted at the Cleveland Clinic analyzed data from over 2,200 individuals who underwent bariatric surgery. The study showed that 84% of patients with type 2 diabetes experienced remission or improvement in their diabetes after surgery.

Long-Term Benefits and Considerations

Bariatric surgery not only improves glycemic control but also offers several long-term health benefits for individuals with type 2 diabetes. These include:

1. Reduced cardiovascular risk:

Bariatric surgery has been associated with a decreased risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular complications, which are commonly seen in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

2. Improved quality of life:

Successful management of type 2 diabetes through bariatric surgery can enhance an individual's overall quality of life by reducing the burden of medications, improving energy levels, and increasing mobility.

Despite the potential benefits, it's important to consider that bariatric surgery is a major procedure and not without risks. Complications such as infection, bleeding, and nutritional deficiencies can occur. Therefore, careful evaluation and discussion with a knowledgeable and experienced healthcare professional are essential to assess the risks and benefits of surgery for each individual as well as appropriate follow up after surgery to avoid nutritional deficiencies.


Bariatric surgery has shown promising results in treating type 2 diabetes, leading to remission or improvement of the disease in many cases. The combination of weight loss, changes in gut hormones, and improved insulin sensitivity contribute to positive outcomes. However, it is crucial to remember that bariatric surgery is not a magic solution or a substitute for lifestyle changes. 

A comprehensive approach, including ongoing medical management and lifestyle modifications, is necessary for long-term success. If you are considering bariatric surgery as a treatment option for type 2 diabetes, consult CGA, we can provide guidance tailored to your individual needs and circumstances. Dr. Apakama will provide you with a clear and detailed discussion of all the various bariatric surgery options available, the expectations, and benefits to ensure a personalized, individualized treatment plan is drawn up for you.


1. Review of the key results from the Swedish Obese Subjects (SOS) trial - a prospective controlled intervention study of bariatric surgery:


2. Incidence and remission of type 2 diabetes about the degree of obesity at baseline and 2-year weight change: the Swedish Obese Subjects (SOS) study:


3. STAMPEDE: Bariatric surgery gains more evidence-based support:


4. Bariatric (Weight-Loss) Surgery for Treating Diabetes:


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