Can Weight Loss Surgery Resolve Type 2 Diabetes?

March 4th, 2020

More than a quarter of a million weight loss surgery procedures are performed in the U.S. every year, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. These surgeries provide people with a helpful and effective tool to lose weight. But can weight loss surgery resolve type 2 diabetes?

The answer, in many cases, is yes, depending on the type of weight loss surgery and the history of a person’s diabetes.

Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes. It occurs when the body produces insulin but isn’t able to use it to control blood sugar levels. Obesity, unhealthy diets and a lack of exercise all contribute to type 2 diabetes, which is why weight-loss surgery often helps to resolve this chronic condition.

“I ask all my weight loss surgery patients to aim for a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or less,” said weight loss surgeon Michael Fishman, MD, with Grand View Health Surgery. “In most cases, if a patient’s BMI falls below 30, many health issues related to obesity will fall away, and that includes diabetes.”

Dr. Fishman and Grand View Health offer several weight loss surgery options. The most popular procedure is vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG), during which the surgeon removes a portion of the stomach, leaving a new stomach that’s about the size of a banana. This results in hormonal changes that alter how people think about food and how their bodies metabolize what they eat. It’s a minimally invasive (small scar) procedure.

Another option is Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. This procedure reroutes food away from the large stomach and creates a scenario where people absorb less of the food they eat.

“We’ve had success getting most people’s BMI below 30 with both procedures,” said Dr. Fishman, who has been providing weight loss surgery for 10 years. An advocate for the community, he was born and raised locally. He graduated from North Penn High School, earned his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine, completed his residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center and earned a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery from Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Grand View’s Weight Loss Surgery program includes pre-surgery nutrition and behavioral counseling in addition to surgery. A bariatric coordinator guides patients every step of the way.

Considering weight loss surgery? Attend our free information session with Dr. Fishman at 5:30 p.m. on March 18. Sign up now.