Background: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) accounts for the majority of diagnosed cases of diabetes in adults in the United States. Many of these individuals are also morbidly obese and choose to undergo bariatric surgery to lose weight and gain glycemic control. The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) has been shown to resolve diabetes before substantial weight loss occurs. Several studies suggest that the vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG), a newer bariatric operation, may result in comparable weight loss and rapid diabetes control.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of 262 patients diagnosed with diabetes who underwent either the RYGB or the VSG between 2002 and 2010. Medication usage before and after surgery was recorded. Patients who discontinued all medications postoperatively were considered "resolved" of T2D, and those who reduced the number of medications were considered as "showing improvement" in their T2D. Peri- and postoperative complications were also recorded for each operation.
Results: At 8 weeks postoperatively, follow-up data were available for 38 RYGB patients and 71 VSG patients. Approximately 79% of RYGB patients and 83% of VSG patients remained off their diabetes medication. VSG patients experienced a significantly lower incidence of major and minor complications both peri- and postoperatively compared with RYGB patients.
Conclusions: Both operations appear to equally resolve T2D in an obese, adult population; however, the incidence of both major and minor complications is much lower in the VSG patient group. Therefore, the VSG should also be considered as a treatment option for obese individuals with T2D.