Looking At Bariatric Surgery In A Whole New Light

May 6, 2013

For the past several decades, bariatric surgery has been seen as a tool for losing weight, and ultimately a way to improve or resolve many of the diseases associated with excess weight and obesity.

The theory is that as patients lose weight, these diseases – such as type II diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sleep apnea, would be improved or eliminated. To a degree that is correct, but the process of improving comorbidities has taken a very interesting turn in recent years.

One of the least understood phenomena after bariatric surgery, and especially after gastric bypass surgery, is how in a mere few days after surgery, many patients had virtually eliminated their type II diabetes. It is quite obvious that not that much weight would have been lost in that time, therefore this improvement in diabetes is not fully related to weight loss. But it does seem that some function of the surgery triggers a change in how the body processes sugar. While we believe that it is triggered by the malabsorptive portion of the gastric bypass surgery, where part of the small intestine is bypassed, we really don’t know the root cause. What we do know, however, is that a gastric bypass may, in fact, help those who are not obese but have type II diabetes. As a result, there is a significant push to understand more about bariatric surgery and how it affects metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is a more all-encompassing term than weight loss surgery, and with the advances in our knowledge of bariatric surgery, seems to be more appropriate. While we don’t yet know the full benefits and risks of bariatric surgery for those who are not obese, like those with type II diabetes, we do know that bariatric surgery may have affects far more profound than simply losing weight.

We look forward to being able to bring you the latest research on this particular topic and giving you a better understanding of bariatric surgery and the multitude of potential benefits that it has in future applications.