Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery goes beyond weight loss. The results of bariatric surgery have shocked and surprised many patients and doctors alike. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) released a study on the benefits of bariatric surgery:  “Diabetes was completely resolved in 76.8% of patients and resolved or improved in 70% or more of patients.  Hypertension was resolved in 61.7% of patients and resolved or improved in 78.5%. Obstructive sleep apnea was resolved in 85.7% of patients and was resolved or improved in 83.6% of patients."

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), nearly 21 million people in the United States have type 2 diabetes and another 42 million have pre-diabetes.

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) notes that “mounting evidence suggests it may be among the most effective treatments for metabolic diseases and conditions including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and obstructive sleep apnea. This surgery results in the complete remission or significant improvement of type 2 diabetes and other life-threatening diseases in most patients.”

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES, 1999-2002), which was conducted by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, more than half (51 percent) of those with diabetes had a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more and about 80 percent of those with a BMI of 35 or more had one or more metabolic diseases.

New research indicates that many patients with type 2 diabetes experience complete remission within days of metabolic surgery, long before significant weight comes off. This has led to new thinking that metabolic surgery may also be appropriate for diabetic individuals who are of normal weight or only slightly overweight.

Dr. Walter Pories, chairman of the Surgical Review Corp., a non-profit corporation that reviews bariatric surgery centers of excellence, says, “Today it’s one of the main reasons people have surgery and I’m confident new research into metabolic surgery will lead to further advances.”