Study Says Bypass Surgery Is Not a Cure for Diabetes


By: Diabetes Health Staff

A 14-year study that tracked 4,434 obese type 2 patients shows that despite much talk about gastric bypass surgery as a “cure” for diabetes, a majority of the patients who underwent the procedure had no long-lasting remission of their symptoms.

The study, conducted by researchers at Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, and HealthPartners, showed that while two thirds of diabetes patients enjoyed a post-bariatric surgery remission, one-third of that number developed diabetes again within a five-year period.

Another one-third of the patients tracked experienced no post-surgery remission. When their number was added to the that of patients who re-developed diabetes, the study showed that a total of 56 percent did not experience a “cure” or even a long-term remission (commonly defined as at least five years).

However, patients who did not re-develop diabetes within five years enjoyed a median of eight symptom-free years.

The study is the first one to provide significant evidence that diabetes often recurs after gastric bypass surgery, said David E. Arterburn, MD, MPH. Arterburn is a general internist and associate investigator at Group Health Research Institute, which analyzed the study’s results. He said that despite the likelihood of diabetes recurring, a post-surgery remission of its symptoms has the beneficial side effect of lessened complications, such as damage to kidneys, eyes, and the cardiovascular system.

Researchers added that because patients’ pre- and post-surgery weight did not strongly correlate with remission or relapse, the cause of diabetes recurrence remains unknown.



Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer
The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.