Diabetes which is known as high blood sugar is the body’s inability to produce insulin or the body’s inability to use the insulin. The body’s inability to produce enough insulin is called type 1 diabetes. The inability to use insulin in the body is called type-2 diabetes.


In recent years, research related to obesity shows that type-2 diabetes is strongly related to obesity. Patients with body mass index (BMI) higher than 35 kg/m2 have 40 times more type-2 diabetes risk than people with a healthy BMI. Approximately 1/3 of patients that had bariatric surgery are known to have type -2 diabetes. In addition to type-2 diabetes, obesity causes many health issues including metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, sleep apnea, fatty liver, insulin resistance, arthritis and some types of cancer. Bariatric surgery is a life-saving treatment for obese patients that meet the criteria when medication, diet and exercise cannot treat the disease.


Bariatric surgery helps patients to lose weight and offers a chance to treat various life-threatening diseases.  It is observed that gastric sleeve surgery (sleeve gastrectomy) which is the most preferred bariatric surgery that treats diabetes, high blood pressure and liver diseases as well as obesity. Studies among patients who had gastric sleeve surgery for weight loss revealed that they have less obesity-related cancer compared to those who do not have the surgery. Again, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, joint problems and many other weight-related diseases that are common among obese patients can be eliminated after the surgical process that results in weight loss.


Especially type-2 diabetes which is an obesity-related disease can be controlled with weight loss and medication use. However, individuals who are unable to lose weight with any method can have gastric sleeve surgery which plays an important role to have a healthy body and treat type-2 diabetes. While medication treatment provides 13% recovery for type-2 diabetes, bariatric surgery provides 75% recovery.


When the first 6-month early results are considered after gastric sleeve surgery (sleeve gastrectomy surgery), there has been 80% improvement in type-2 diabetes among the patients and this ratio is almost the same as gastric bypass surgery which is another method. Post-op follow-up showed that 50% of patients have improved blood sugar levels within 3 years of the surgery. There have been 50% of relapse in type-2 diabetes due to old age, long-term type-2 diabetes before the surgery (3 years or more), poor sugar level control before the surgery, 2 or more blood sugar medication use before the surgery, weight gain after the surgery and returning to unhealthy eating.


Bariatric surgery is under general surgery and performed by doctors specialised in bariatric surgery. The experience and expertise of the doctor play an important role in the surgery process and the post-op process.  Patient follow-up and controls by the doctor during and after the operation play an important role in preventing the relapse of the disease.


While there is a possibility for disease relapse after the surgery as explained above, the gastric sleeve surgery in type-2 diabetes treatment is a metabolic surgery that has a high chance of success for the patient and fewer complications. The individual who has the surgery will have a higher chance to live a healthy and quality life.

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