(HealthDay News) — Although weight-loss surgery may produce initial dramatic weight loss and improve type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests that in the long run, many people regain weight and see their diabetes return. The report was published online August 5 in JAMA Surgery.

Andrei Keidar, MD, of the Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, Israel, and colleagues collected data on 443 laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy operations done between April 2006 and February 2013. In the first year after the surgery, follow up data for 241 patients revealed that they lost 76.8% their excess weight.

By the fifth year after surgery, only 39 people had full follow-up data available. The researchers found that by the fifth year the patients regained weight, bringing their weight loss to only 56.1%. Also, 50.7% of patients experienced type 2 diabetes remission. By the fifth year, only 20.0% were still in remission from type 2 diabetes. The researchers also found that throughout the five years, 45.5% of the patients experienced remission of hypertension. Changes in total cholesterol were insignificant.

Weight-loss surgery is a “behavioral surgery,” Keidar told HealthDay. “If you don’t change your behavior, you are going to regain weight.”

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