Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Kauffman, Russell


diabetes mellitus type II, long term, gastric bypass, weight loss medication


Type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM) affects hundreds of millions of individuals in the United States and is only becoming more common. The disease can damage organs all throughout the body and even lead to death. The goal of treatment is to lower blood glucose, but since T2DM tends to be associated with obesity, another common goal in treatment is weight loss. However, this is difficult for many people to achieve, and intense medical treatment is sometimes needed. Since T2DM is a lifelong disease, interventions must be considered in the long term. The purpose of this project is to compare long-term efficacity of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery and several antidiabetic medications that result in weight loss in type II diabetics who have failed to achieve goals through first line treatment of diet, exercise, and metformin. A literature review was completed using the electronic search database PubMed using a variety of MeSH terms and keywords which yielded 2,954 results. Filters and other criteria further narrowed down the search to 16 studies selected for review. Research showed strong evidence that surgery was superior to medications in reducing HbA1C and weight. However, it is not a viable option for many individuals. The antidiabetic medications studied were also shown to decrease HbA1C and weight superiorly to placebos and other classes of antidiabetic medications. However, research must be continued to study these medications over a longer interval as the medications remain on the market for a longer period of time. Studies that directly compare antidiabetic medications that result in weight loss to determine whether one is superior to others in the long term are also needed.