A cure for diabetes - how weightloss surgery leads to a remission of type 2 diabetes

Written by: Mr Ahmed R. Ahmed
Published: | Updated: 20/02/2020
Edited by: Jay Staniland

Diabetes is one of the fastest growing threats to health in modern times, with an estimated five million people in the UK suffering with diabetes, with around 90% of cases being type 2 diabetes. However, recent techniques and discoveries have found that by undergoing surgery, some patients are able to overcome diabetes, or at least having control over the condition improved. Leading consultant surgeon, Mr Ahmed R. Ahmed, who specialises in diabetes surgery, gives more details.


Can diabetes be cured by surgery?


Increasing evidence shows that there is a remission of type 2 diabetes after metabolic surgery, such as gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, or sleeve gastrectomy procedures. The most recent scientific research provides high quality evidence that upto 80% of patients with diabetes have normal sugar levels after surgery, without needing tablets or injections. This is found to continue for at least one year after surgery.


How does diabetes surgery work?


By changing the rate at which food enters the intestine, scientists think this causes various changes in hormones, bile, and gut bacteria which in turn are responsible for the normalisation of sugar levels and diabetes remission that are seen after surgery.


Who is diabetes surgery recommended for?


The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends diabetes surgery for patients who are type 2 diabetic and have a body mass index of 30 or above (for Asians the BMI should be 27 or above).

We also know that the earlier surgery is performed following a diagnosis of diabetes, the better the chance of full diabetes remission.


Is diabetes surgery safe?


Recent data from the National Bariatric Surgery Registry (NBSR) shows that this type of surgery is extremely safe with a mortality rate less than 1 in 1000, and a complication rate less than 4%.


What is the success rate for diabetes surgery?


We can expect 80% of patients with diabetes to undergo remission of diabetes after surgery. In the remaining 20% of patients, we expect the control of diabetes to be vastly improved.

If you would like to be considered for diabetes surgery, or would like a consultation with a specialist to see if this kind of procedure is suitable for you, make an appointment here.

By Mr Ahmed R. Ahmed

Mr Ahmed R. Ahmed is one of London's leading surgeons. Practising on Harley Street and other reputable clinics, he specialises in laparoscopic (keyhole) gastrointestinal and hernia surgery as well as having a specialist interest in weight loss. He has been committed to education and training, winning numerous prizes and awards throughout his career and now he serves as a senior lecturer at Imperial College London. He runs his own research team investigating mechanisms of weight loss surgery as well as researching newer technologies for helping people lose weight. He forms an integral part of numerous professional bodies including the British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society and has been widely published in numerous field-related, peer-reviewed journals. Mr Ahmed was elected to council of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and also sits on council of the British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society.

Mr Ahmed will provide you with a friendly and honest opinion regarding your suitability for surgery, putting your safety and well-being as the first priority. He pays particular attention to pre and postoperative care in order to optimise the outcome of your operation and provide you with a smooth recovery after surgery. Mr Ahmed has >99% success in achieving a complete laparoscopic result without converting to open surgery.

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