Patients that have undergone bariatric surgery might find that they see excellent results after just a few years – or usually just a few short months. Further post-operative patients with comorbidities seem to report greater postoperative results. The outcome of bariatric surgery after a decade shows staggering results. Studies show that 30% of bariatric surgery patients had no signs of diabetes after 15 years. These results are compared to 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 with a shorter duration or significant weight loss within two years after the surgery had the best likelihood of sustained diabetic remission 15 years after the surgery. This indicates that the patients had their bariatric surgery before the insulin-producing cells were 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 safe surgery at the right time of their lives. It is unlikely that others had gone beyond the point of being irreversible in their diabetes status.

Out of the 4,047 obese patients enrolled in the Swedish study in 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 before 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 diabetes.

Understanding the Information

The definition of diabetes remission was below 110 mg/dL, and the patients were not taking anti-diabetic 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 the risk of macrovascular and microvascular complications. This means fewer complications with these individuals 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. Still, it can also help many severe comorbidities be contained, reduced, or completely removed. Patients seemed to find long-term success in reducing 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 have helped the patient maintain long-term remission from diabetes and other comorbidities associated with obesity.

The long-term success rates make 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 better understand the success that can come with the surgery for patients that are excellent candidates.

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