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Is Bariatric Surgery the Best Way to Resolve Your Type 2 Diabetes?

You may have heard of the nation’s growing obesity epidemic, but did you know we’re also facing a “diabesity” crisis as well?

According to United Health, one of the largest insurance companies in the country, if current trends continue, half of Americans will either be pre-diabetic or have type 2 diabetes by 2020.

As we stand in the US:

Since T2DM is associated with being overweight and not exercising enough, it’s not surprising to see that these statistics correlate with rising worldwide obesity rates.

“Our new research shows there is a diabetes time bomb ticking in America, but fortunately there are practical steps that can be taken now to defuse it,” Simon Stevens, chairman of United Health Group’s Center for Health Reform & Modernization, says.

Doctors usually encourage T2DM patients to drop their excess weight and adjust their eating habits if they want to improve or reverse their diagnosis.

That’s because those extra pounds are the main contributing factor to the insulin resistance causing type 2 diabetes.

Bariatric surgery is one of the most effective treatment options for T2DM patients when diet and exercise alone aren’t enough to trigger weight loss and improve blood sugar management.

We’re going to cover everything you need to know about using weight-loss surgery to resolve or cure your type 2 diabetes.

Download this checklist to help you better manage your T2DM before bariatric surgery. Click here and it’s yours for free now!

Are You Truly Managing Your Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in the US; and someone in the world dies from diabetic complications every 10 seconds.

Patients with T2DM are at a higher risk for:

If you have type 2 diabetes, your risk of dying prematurely from complications stemming from your condition rises as much as 80%.

And your life expectancy is shortened by 12–14 years!

diabetes chart

So how do you control T2DM?

You’ve been told to remove sugar from your diet, exercise more, and maybe even fill a prescription for anti-diabetic drugs or insulin.

But T2DM is considered a chronic and progressive disease that only gets worse with time.

This means if you’re not currently using medication to treat your T2DM, you will be soon if you don’t get in shape.

And if you’re already using some form of medical intervention, you’ll need to continually up your dosage to stay on top of your blood sugar at your current weight.

Yet as anyone with insulin resistance knows, it feels almost impossible to lose enough weight to cure your type 2 diabetes totally on your own (or without a wish-granting genie).

So if you’re overweight and also have type 2 diabetes, you owe it to yourself to consider bariatric surgery to help bring your body back to the healthy zone.

Here’s Why Bariatric Surgery is the Most Effective Treatment Plan for Type 2 Diabetes

Bruce M. Wolfe, MD, professor of surgery at Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine, shares the story of a patient requiring “400 daily units of insulin” before bariatric surgery needing zero the day she was discharged from the hospital. Read the article here.

We live for stories like this at Panhandle Weight Loss Center; but, how often do these dream stories happen to patients in the real world?

Turns out, there are numerous studies backing the effectiveness of bariatric surgery for type 2 diabetes.

spoonful of sugar

Researchers from one study took 150 patients who were poorly managing their T2DM and gave them diet and exercise counseling, weight management help, blood sugar monitoring, and diabetic medications.

They divided the patients up into three groups of 50: one group continued with the aforementioned program of healthy living adjustments; the second group had gastric bypass surgery; and the remaining patients elected for gastric sleeve surgery.

After a year of follow up, researchers learned that only 12% of patients in the first group receiving lifestyle coaching were able to control their T2DM — and that’s only because they increased their medications.

The bariatric surgery groups fared much better.

42% of gastric bypass patients and 37% of gastric sleeve patients exhibited “excellent” control of their T2DM (by having Hgb A1C less than 6.0) and they were able to do so while decreasing their T2DM medications.

An astounding 78% of patients opting for bariatric surgery were able to take themselves off all of their medications for controlling T2DM.

Those are pretty convincing results.

Another study followed 400 T2 diabetics for six years to determine their long-term management success. They learned that:

Yet only 6–8% of patients in that study who chose not to have bariatric surgery saw similar results (even with the help of medication!).

So, as we can see, bariatric surgery has been proven to be an effective treatment plan for type 2 diabetes.

In fact, less than 8% of bariatric surgery patients require the use of medicine to control type 2 diabetes post-procedure.

Let’s go over your weight- loss surgery options so you can become part of the majority kicking type 2 diabetes to the curb:


During gastric sleeve surgery, your stomach will be reduced by 80%. Your  “new”, smaller stomach will be about the size and shape of a banana.

The rest of your digestive system stays intact and undisturbed.

Your smaller stomach will not be able to hold as much food as you’re used to eating so you’ll feel full  sooner. This will trigger weight loss naturally.  

Making healthy choices at meals and increasing physical activity will also help increase weight loss and long term maintenance success.

Additionally, when you reduce the size of your stomach, your body also produces less ghrelin — the hormone responsible for telling your brain that you’re hungry. A gastric sleeve will decrease your hunger cravings, which may stabilize your blood sugar levels.

80% of gastric sleeve patients lose weight post-surgery and they lose an average of 65% of their excess weight as a result.

More than 60% of T2DM patients show zero signs of diabetes after having a gastric sleeve.


The duodenal switch is both similar and different from gastric sleeve surgery.

You’ll have a gastric sleeve performed as the first part of your duodenal switch procedure.

Then, you’ll also have a second component performed to limit the amount of calories your body absorbs from the food you eat. This malabsorptive component means your digestive path is slightly altered, but it also results in losing the most amount of weight.

A gastric sleeve should resolve type 2 diabetes in patients who simply need to lose weight.

But, if you require significant amounts of insulin to control your type II diabetes, the switch may be the better option. Talk with our doctors to determine what the best option is for you.  The duodenal switch  works by upregulating certain hormones to make your body more sensitive to your own insulin secretion.

Patients often see a 90–95% remission rate of their type II diabetes after a duodenal switch.

Do the Benefits of Bariatric Surgery Outweigh the Risks and Costs?

According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), leading public health experts in the field of diabetes have concluded that:

A key finding across numerous studies about bariatric surgery for T2 diabetics is that the earlier the surgery, the higher chances of long-term remission.

diabetes cloud

What does full remission actually mean?

For 90% of bariatric surgery patients suffering from type 2 diabetes, it means:

Based on numerous reports, T2DM patients treated medically have about a 4.5% chance of dying each year as a result of their condition. T2DM patients after bariatric surgery lower those chances to less than 1%.

Other studies show that for every 1% decrease in your HbA1C, you’ll decrease your chances of developing long-term complications from diabetes by 25–45%!

Those odds are totally in your favor.

Plus, Dr. Bo and Dr. Bleu perform all of their surgeries together as a team to make their procedures even safer.

While that’s pretty rare for bariatric practices, it may also be the reason for their extremely low complication rates (like their less than 0.1% complication rate with gastric sleeve surgery). Find out if your health insurance provider covers bariatric surgery and other weight loss procedures.

Insurance companies will generally cover weight -loss surgery because it helps you lose weight, control your diabetes, and resolves many other serious (read: expensive) medical conditions at the same time.

This keeps their costs down in the long run as you’ll be healthier and less expensive for them to insure.

After all, $1 out of every $10 spent on healthcare in the US goes to treating type 2 diabetes. Which leads diabetics to spend an average 2.3x as much on healthcare costs than those without T2DM.

The savings and health benefits of bariatric surgery are absolutely worth it.

Are You Ready to Finally Take Back Control?

Obesity, being overweight, and having too much excess body fat are the prime contributors of type 2 diabetes.

But many T2DM patients experience remission and an improved quality of life after bariatric surgery.

We aim to have every patient off their diabetic medications as soon as they’re discharged from the hospital, or not long after, here at Panhandle Weight Loss Center.

So take the time to consider all your options for bariatric surgery if you’re finally ready to beat your type 2 diabetes for good. Control your type 2 diabetes with these 8 healthy tips until your weight loss surgery. Click here now!