What You Should Know about Diabetes and Obesity

Here, Aurora Pryor, MD, talks about the relationship between diabetes and obesity. Dr. Pryor has performed more than 1,000 bariatric procedures among her over 3,000 surgical cases during the last 16 years. A prominent scholar and researcher as well as surgeon, Dr. Pryor holds patents for surgical technologies, has trained 25 surgical fellows, and has published and presented on obesity and other topics worldwide. A leader in the field, she serves on key committees within several medical professional societies and sits on the governing board of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, representing 6,000 surgeons.

What is type 2 diabetes and what is its relationship to obesity?

Type 2 diabetes is a long-term disorder where the body produces insulin but resists its ability to move blood sugar into the cells to be used as energy. Untreated diabetes can be life threatening. The relationship between type 2 diabetes and obesity is very clear: Obesity is probably the number one factor in the development of insulin resistance. The risk of type 2 diabetes increases with the degree of obesity and its duration. So as our nation’s rate of obesity increases, so does the rate of type 2 diabetes.

How is type 2 diabetes affected by bariatric surgery?

The results are nothing short of amazing. The majority of patients who have gastric bypass surgery experience complete resolution of their diabetes. Results also have been good for gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy. Patients who have bariatric surgery typically experience lower insulin resistance, and their risk for metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure and high cholesterol also decreases.

Are there large-scale studies showing that bariatric surgery helps type 2 diabetes?

Yes. One of the most well known, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, was compiled from 136 scientific reports totaling bariatric surgical results of 22,094 patients. It showed that nearly 77 percent of bariatric surgery patients were cured of diabetes, with a total of 86 percent reporting an improvement in their symptoms.

How does bariatric surgery work?

Bariatric surgery makes the stomach smaller so the patient feels satisfied with less food.  Some types of bariatric surgery also reduce the body’s ability to absorb calories from food. All bariatric surgery works best with lifestyle and behavior changes.

What’s exceptional about Stony Brook’s approach?

  • An extraordinary interdisciplinary team of professionals. We work side by side with you, every step of the way.
  • A comprehensive, individualized treatment strategy. It may include surgery, medical management, diet and exercise, behavior modification and psychological counseling or a combination of these approaches.  We offer a pre-surgery medically supervised weight loss program and monthly support group meetings after surgery.
  • Lifelong commitment. We meet with you regularly during the first year post-surgery, then annually or as needed for the rest of your life. 
  • Advanced procedures with advanced techniques.  Most bariatric surgeries are performed laparoscopically, which means minimal scarring and faster recovery.
    • Adjustable Gastric Banding
    • Banding with Plication
    • Sleeve Gastrectomy
    • Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
  • Access to Stony Brook Medicine. We can tap into the broad range of expertise, services, technology and facilities available at Long Island’s only academic medical center and Suffolk County’s only tertiary care hospital and Level 1 Trauma Center.

Who is a candidate for bariatric surgery?

We follow National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines. Most surgical patients are about 100 pounds or more overweight, but those who are less overweight and have a related medical condition may qualify for adjustable gastric banding.

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The first and third Monday of every month

5 to 7 pm
Stony Brook University Hospital
Café Fresco

To register for these free events, call (631) 444-4000.


For more information, visit bariatrics.stonybrookmedicine.edu or call Catherine M. Tuppo, PT, MS, Center Coordinator, at (631) 444-BARI (2274).

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All health and health-related information contained in this article is intended to be general and/or educational in nature and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a healthcare professional for help, diagnosis, guidance, and treatment. The information is intended to offer only general information for individuals to discuss with their healthcare provider. It is not intended to constitute a medical diagnosis or treatment or endorsement of any particular test, treatment, procedure, service, etc. Reliance on information provided is at the user's risk. Your healthcare provider should be consulted regarding matters concerning the medical condition, treatment, and needs of you and your family. Stony Brook University/SUNY is an affirmative action, equal opportunity educator and employer.