Weight loss surgery could be the best treatment for obese patients who have type 2 diabetes, finds a new study published in the Archives of Surgery.  It found that the weight loss procedures improved diabetes outcomes in comparison to patients who had the usual medication therapy for the disease.

overweight woman smiling with a glass of water

Researchers at the University of Rome in Italy studies 60 morbidly obese patients with type 2 diabetes. Half of the patients had sleeve gastrectomy, where the stomach is reduced to approximately 25 percent of its normal size.  The other half of the participants had conventional medical treatment for type 2 diabetes.

Eighty percent of the patients who had weight loss surgery were cured of diabetes within 18 months, and their BMI, which had averaged 41.3 before weight loss surgery, went down to 28.3 after the study.  A BMI of 30 or more is considered obese. Patients who received medication for the condition did not show improvement, and stayed diabetic during and after the research period.

Researchers also found that patients who received weight loss surgery reported improvements in their cholesterol levels, obstructive sleep apnea and blood pressure.

Patients given diabetes drugs needed more medication for blood pressure and cholesterol control as time went on.

“Midterm and long-term results are needed to confirm the positive effect (remission and/or improvement) of [laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy] on diabetes and, overall, on the chronic complications of the disease,” wrote the authors of study. “Most importantly, the longer-term results will allow us to compare the costs and benefits of bariatric surgery vs. conventional medical treatments.”

Please read Weight Loss Surgery Reduces Type 2 Diabetes Part 2 for more information