Patients that have undergone bariatric surgery might find that they see excellent results after just a few years. The further postoperatively, patients with comorbidities, seem to report greater postoperative results. Studies show that 30% of bariatric surgery patients had no signs of diabetes after 15 years. These results are compared to the only 7% of patients with standard care being in diabetes remission. These studies were conducted by the Swedish Obese Subjects (SOS) and compared to those by Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Bariatric Surgery Continues to Grow Strong
The studies conducted show that diabetes patients that had a shorter duration or that had significant weight loss within two years after the surgery had the best likelihood for sustained diabetic remission 15 years after the surgery. This indicates that the patients had their bariatric surgery before the insulin-producing cells where failing beyond irreversibility. If they had not it is not likely that the patient would have seen long-term remission from the procedure. These individuals had the advantage of getting the safe surgery at the right time of their lives. It is unlikely that others that had gone beyond the point of being irreversible in their diabetes status.
Out of the 4,047 obese patients enrolled in the Swedish study from 1987 and 2001, 260 patients went through standard medical care for their diabetes and 343 had bariatric surgery of some type. The average age of these patients was 50, and their BMI or body mass index was approximately 41. While both men and women conducted the study, nearly 60% of the participants were women. The individuals had been diagnosed with diabetes for approximately 3 years prior to the surgery and had been seeking medical treatment, but not taking medication at the time. Indications of diabetes slowly vanished leaving the patients in remission and suffering no ill consequences from the diabetes.
Understanding the Information
The definition of the diabetes remission was considered to be below 110 mg/dL, and the patients were not taking antidiabetic medications. The individuals that had the greatest weight loss success also seemed to have the longest diabetes remission rate. There was also an apparent reduction in risk of macrovascular and microvascular complications. This means that there were fewer complications with these individuals that required added medical treatment or care beyond the comorbidities
Keys to Success
These studies seem to illustrate that bariatric surgery is not just a weight loss tool, but it can also help many of the severe comorbidities be contained, reduced or completely removed. Patients seemed to find long-term success in a reduction in these complications of obesity when they underwent bariatric surgery of any kind. It appeared to be important to know that the patients kept the weight off and maintained a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and exercise. These factors seem to have helped the patient to maintain a long term remission from diabetes and other comorbidities associated with obesity.
The long term success rates are something that makes a statement about where the bariatric surgery can take a patient. The right surgery with the right patient and the right attitude can change their health dramatically. These studies will help to understand better the success that can come with the surgery for patients that are excellent candidates.