Research Horizons


For Type 2 Diabetes, Bariatric Surgery Helps. For Type 1 Diabetes, Mixed Results

While bariatric surgery has been successful at treating type 2 diabetes, people with type 1 diabetes still needed insulin for glycemic control, a new case study shows.

The study, published October 2013 in Pediatrics, reported results of bariatric surgery performed on two young people with type 1 diabetes.

A year after receiving vertical sleeve gastrectomy, a 19-year-old man with obesity demonstrated 28% reduction in body mass index (BMI). His daily total insulin requirement decreased but his hemoglobin A1c remained primarily unchanged at 8.8%.

Meanwhile, a 13-year-old obese girl who received a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass developed diabetic ketoacidosis one month after surgery. By 28 months after surgery her BMI had decreased by 42%, but even with insulin, her hemoglobin A1c worsened from 6.3% to 10%.


Ever since she was 3, Ashley O’Hara struggled with weight issues.

As a child, she was diagnosed with insulin resistance. As she grew older, that turned into Type 2 diabetes. By the time she was 15, she was closing in on 300 pounds and desperate for answers.

“I watched my grandma die from everything that I was starting to get or was prone to get, and I didn’t want to go through that,” Ashley said in a video interview.

She went online and found the Surgical Weight Loss for Teens program at Cincinnati Children’s. While it isn’t a quick fix, the program gave Ashley a start on a new life. Listen to her talk with her mom about why this was the answer for their family.

Learn More About Our Surgical Weight Loss for Teens Program 


Publication Information
Original title: Bariatric Surgery for Severe Obesity in Two Adolescents With Type 1 Diabetes
Published in: Pediatrics
Publish date: October 2013
Read the study

Research By

Thomas Inge, MD