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Numerous lines of evidence support the likelihood that inflammation drives the transition from obese/metabolically healthy to obese/type 2 diabetes (T2D). Given the temporal flexibility of inflammation in obesity-associated T2D, investigators have hypothesized that a precipitous drop in diabetogenic cytokines is critical for rapid ‘T2D remission’ following surgery but prior to significant weight loss. We review the evidence that changes in diabetogenic cytokines play a role in outcomes of bariatric surgery, including improved glycemic control.A 2016 indication for bariatric surgery to treat T2D integrates the large body of data showing rapid metabolic improvement. Parameters that account for improved glycemic control prior to significant weight loss, T2D recidivism over the long term, or failure of surgery to remit T2D in some patients are incompletely understood.We review the evidence that changes in diabetogenic cytokines play a role in outcomes of bariatric surgery, including improved glycemic control. We brainstorm future research directions that may improve surgical results.