The short answer is no. For the long answer, keep reading…

The most common therapy touted as a cure for diabetes is weight loss (bariatric) surgery. Most patients lose an average of 25-40% of their total body weight after bariatric surgery. As patients lose rapid amounts of weight, their insulin resistance What is Diabetes? – Southside Diabetes ( plummets, their blood sugars and A1C What is the difference between blood sugar and HgbA1c? – Southside Diabetes ( levels decrease, and we are able to take many patients off the majority of their diabetes medications. Even medications that treat conditions such as high blood pressure can be reduced and/or eliminated. Life is great!

However… approximately 10-30% of patients will experience significant weight regain following bariatric surgery. In turn, their insulin resistance levels start to rise, glucose and A1C levels start climbing, as do blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and suddenly we’re back on most – if not all – our previous diabetes medications, and then some.

“So doc, you’re telling me it’s hopeless?!” NO! This is neither one-size-fits-all, nor a foregone conclusion that you are absolutely going to regain the weight and diabetes will come raging back. NOPE! But because there is a risk, it’s important to understand that bariatric surgery is therefore not a cure for diabetes. 

Instead, your diabetes goes into remission. You’ve done a great job losing weight, changing your diet, exercising, and you haven’t touched a soda since the day before your surgery. Your blood sugars are normal, A1C has fallen below the prediabetes range, and you’re not taking any medications for your former diabetes. This is excellent! YOU are excellent! 😊

Then life happens. Stress increases at work or a family member falls ill. You get off track with diet and exercise, slowly start regaining weight, but don’t think much of it when your healthcare provider wants to restart low-dose metformin. But then it’s another medication … and then another. And if you’re not careful, you’re right back where you started before your surgery.

Yes it happens – but not to everyone. This highlights the need for continued follow-up with your healthcare provider(s), including your primary care provider and your friendly neighborhood diabetologist (#southsidediabetes). We will help you remain on track, as well as push you back onto the right path when you start to stray. Therapies such as counseling and medications, as well as revisiting a dietitian and monitoring your blood sugar levels more frequently, will help us nip rising diabetes levels in the bud before we’re out of control.

*It is important to note that while type 1 diabetics may absolutely benefit from weight loss surgery, this will never replace the need for exogenous (external) insulin such as via injection or pump Insulin pump versus insulin injections – Southside Diabetes ( However, the insulin requirement is likely to be FAR LESS than prior to surgery.

There are other more invasive approaches to treating diabetes such as pancreatic and stem cell transplants. Unfortunately, these procedures don’t have great outcomes and are not performed often. So we’re back to good old fashioned lifestyle changes – managing diet, exercise, weight, stress, and medications as needed. Have fun with it!