Study Finds Bariatric Surgery Costs Equal to Long-Term Health Costs for Diabetes

As we’ve discussed in a previous article, those who undergo bariatric surgery have achieved remarkable results in regards to type-2 diabetes. While bariatric surgery is a viable method that has proven successful over many years of study and treatment, alternatives such as long-term treatment are currently more readily accepted. A study conducted in Sweden over 15 years has shown that bariatric surgery costs are equal to that of long-term health care, only further proving the viability of weight loss surgery as a treatment for type-2 diabetes.

How does weight loss surgery treat diabetes?

In the words of one physician at Boston Medical School, “the cure of diabetes after gastric bypass lies in the intestine.” Remarkably, after bariatric surgery the small intestine begins to increasingly produce a molecule called GLP-1 which helps regulate body weight. In many patients, this has led to a decrease in blood sugar levels. What is more remarkable is that in obese individuals, the production of GLP-1 might be reduced. This has led medical science to believe that bariatric surgery somehow promotes the natural process of weight loss at the molecular level.

What did the study show?

The study, conducted in Sweden, tracked two groups of obese patients over 15 years. One group was treated with bariatric surgery and the other was treated conventionally. Conventional treatments involved lifestyle changes and behaviour modification. At the end of the study the costs of bariatric surgery in patients who had type-2 diabetes was equal to the long-term costs of conventional treatments.


The researchers concluded that due to the costs of long-term health care to society and the difficulties that it produces for patients, bariatric surgery should be prioritised. Patients with type-2 diabetes are better off getting weight loss surgery in many cases than they are undergoing traditional long-term medical treatment.

We treat many patients that are obese with a wide range of surgeries and complimentary treatments. The results that our patients have achieved have been remarkable. With this new research about the costs of bariatric surgery, there is all the more reason to pursue a bariatric procedure to treat type-2 diabetes.

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