Bariatric Surgery for Diabetes| Bariatric Surgery to control blood sugar| Bariatric Surgery in India
Bariatric solution for curing diabetes offers new hope
Forty three-year-old S Nair had been diabetic for 15 years. His disease was uncontrollable and
had turned him blind. Just when he had given up all hope, doctors suggested bariatric surgery
to cure the condition. Just 12 days after the procedure, his insulin was back to normal and he
was taken off all medication for diabetes.
The twin epidemics of type 2 diabetes and obesity are emerging as a big public health challenge
for India. There are over 65 million diabetes patients in the country, with another 30 million or
so in the pre-diabetes group. In the next 15 years, we will be hosting the biggest number of
diabetics in the world. Obesity has also reached alarming proportions, with morbid obesity
affecting 5% of India’s population. Indians have been shown to be genetically susceptible to
gaining weight, especially around the waist.
Both the conditions feed on each other and are a result of the modern, sedentary lifestyle,
fuelled by a high-fat, energy-rich diet. These place extra stress on the human body and increase
the risk of premature death. Serious health conditions may arise, reducing the overall quality of
life. Diabetes can cause serious problems like heart disease, strokes, blindness, kidney failure
and amputation. Obesity is associated with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseases,
respiratory problems and certain types of cancer.
For obese or not-so-obese people whose blood sugar levels are way out of control, bariatric
surgery offers a new ray of hope. The procedure is designed to make patients lose weight by
making changes to their digestive system so that they eat less, and absorption of nutrients by
the body is drastically reduced. It can provide a more effective and long-lasting treatment for
diabetes and obesity than the standard therapies of drugs, diet and exercise.
Sleeve gastrectomy & Gastric bypass are the most popular type of bariatric surgery because
they generally have fewer complications than other weight loss surgeries. In these, the size of
the stomach is made smaller and/or food is made to bypass part of the small intestine (where
most of the nutrients and calories are absorbed). As a result, the person feels full after eating
much smaller quantities of food, leading to weight loss. Bariatric surgery is done through a
small incision (laparoscopy). With advances in science, it is today considered a safe abdominal
surgery. The patient is usually discharged 24-48 hours after surgery.
sustained over years. Only 10% of the patients gain excess weight after banded gastric bypass
compared to 98% who regain weight after diet and exercise.
Research reveals that bariatric surgery can also keep diabetes at bay for many years and even
reverse some of its health complications. The improvement in diabetes control is usually long
lasting, with normal insulin levels returning within days of the surgery, long before any
significant weight loss takes place. Many medical experts are now recommending bariatric
surgery as an early treatment option for people with uncontrolled diabetes.
A study by Cleveland Clinic published in September 2013 in the journal, Annals of Surgery,
showed beneficial long-term effects of bariatric surgery for people with diabetes.1
that obese patients with type 2 diabetes continue to experience the benefits of bariatric
surgery up to nine years after the procedure. During this period, they continued to improve or
reverse their diabetes, as well as lower their cardiovascular risk factors.
The researchers identified long-term weight loss and a short duration of diabetes before
surgery as among the main factors that resulted in higher rate of long-term diabetes remission.
They concluded that bariatric surgery can offer durable remission of diabetes in some patients
and should be considered as an earlier treatment option for patients having problems in
controlling their diabetes.
Surgical cure of obesity and diabetes is now a reality. Thousands of patients have benefited by
drastically reducing weight and naturally controlling their blood sugar levels through bariatric
-Dr. Ramen Goel
Nova Specialty Hospitals