1. ITV Report

People with Type 2 diabetes 'should be given surgery'

Obesity is often linked to diabetes. Credit: PA

People who have Type 2 diabetes and a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more should be given weight-loss surgery to help them achieve remission from the disease, world experts have said.

The group of organisations - including Diabetes UK and American Diabetes Association - said surgery, which they claim is cost-effective, should be recognised as a standard treatment.

Experts say up to 100,000 people with Type 2 diabetes in the UK should be given surgery, including procedures such as gastric bypass surgery and sleeve gastrectomy, and have tasked the health service with raising the number of operations from 6,000 to 50,000 a year, in order to bring it into line with other European countries.

A person with diabetes takes a test. Credit: PA
  • Why weight-loss surgery works

About half of patients go into remission from diabetes that lasts at least five years, evidence from 11 clinical trials has shown.

Compared to those who try to lose weight as a means of controlling their diabetes, people who have weight-loss surgery benefit from far better blood sugar control.

Francesco Rubino, one of the experts behind the guidelines and professor of metabolic and bariatric surgery at King's College London, described it as a "very powerful treatment".

Although a BMI of 40 or more is normally required for weight-loss surgery, it has been recommended that those with a BMI of 30 or more should also have surgery as an option if taking tablets or insulin does not control their blood glucose levels sufficiently.