Metabolic (bariatric) surgery effective type 2 diabetes treatment

Written by: Mr Ahmed R. Ahmed
Edited by: Emma McLeod

The term “metabolic surgery” describes procedures that are used to treat metabolic diseases, particularly type 2 diabetes. This surgical method of weight loss has proven to be so effective in managing the condition. Mr Ahmed R. Ahmed clarifies the benefits of losing weight in type 2 diabetes patients and the effectiveness of metabolic surgery.

A man's overweight stomach with a tape measure around it.

What are the benefits of losing weight for a patient who has diabetes?

The benefits of losing weight are huge for patients who suffer from type 2 diabetes. There is excellent evidence now that any type of weight loss provides an improvement in type 2 diabetes management.


What is metabolic surgery?

Metabolic surgery is what bariatric surgery is referred to when using it to treat type 2 diabetes patients. In diabetic patients, metabolic surgery consists of either sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass surgery - your surgeon will help you decide which is best for you.


Can metabolic surgery cure type 2 diabetes?

If patients want to cure their type 2 diabetes completely, then we have excellent evidence that metabolic surgery has a high chance of achieving this. The scientific studies show that in about 80 per cent of type 2 diabetes patients, type 2 diabetes will be cured. In the remaining 20 per cent, the control of diabetes will be vastly improved.


What is a healthy weight to aim for?

Anyone aiming for a healthy weight should aim for the closest they can get to a normal BMI (body mass index). However, even moderate amounts of weight loss can give significant improvements in type 2 diabetes control e.g. losing 10 per cent of body weight.


With so many diets available (e.g. ketogenic, Mediterranean, Weight Watchers), which is best?

The best diet is the one that you can stick to the longest and this will vary from person to person. Ultimately, it’s not a short-term diet that is required but instead, a long-term lifestyle change. Often, short-term dieting doesn’t work. Lifestyle changes that can be maintained are much more effective in maintaining a healthy weight.


When is metabolic (bariatric) surgery recommended for type 2 diabetes?

NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has recently reduced the threshold criteria for having metabolic surgery because they realised how effective it is in treating type 2 diabetes. East Asian patients with a BMI of 27 are eligible for metabolic surgery, and patients of other ethnicities must have a BMI of 30 or over to be eligible.


What precautions are taken in patients with diabetes who wants to undergo bariatric surgery?

We make sure that the patient’s diabetes is controlled as best as possible immediately before surgery. This involves making sure that the patient:

  1. Is taking the most suitable diabetic drugs.
  2. Has the most optimum level of insulin for those on insulin
  3. Is on a healthy diet.
  4. Can engage in some kind of physical activity, even if that’s walking for 10-20 mins per day.


Visit Mr Ahmed’s profile and learn how you can benefit from his first-class patient care.

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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