Weight loss surgery can be more effective than standard treatments for type 2 diabetes, according to new research findings.
Two new clinical trials have demonstrated that bariatric surgery brings about dramatically greater improvement of blood sugar control in obese diabetics than standard medical intervention. One of the studies was conducted in the United States and the other in Italy and both found that even rigorously supervised regimens of diet, exercise, and medications failed to bring blood sugar under good control after one year. Alternatively, many patients in the trials who received surgery were able to stop taking diabetes medications within weeks of their procedures. The studies’ findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The patients who received surgery had either a biliopancreatic diversion, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy.
In addition to improvements in blood sugar, all of the surgery patients had significantly greater weight loss than those on standard drug treatment. The U.S. study, conducted by the Cleveland Clinic, followed 150 people, with 100 of the patients receiving surgery. Half of the patients had sleeve gastrectomy and the other had gastric bypass; the other 50 patients received intensive monitoring, diet and exercise plan, and medicine. The findings indicated that those in the surgery group reduced their need for medication of all kinds. Specifically, after one year 78 percent of those who had gastric bypass and 51 percent who had sleeve gastrectomy were no longer needing and taking any diabetes medication. The Italian study used a less stringent standard for what they considered diabetes remission, with 75 percent of the patients who received gastric bypass experiencing remission and 95 percent who received a biliopancreatic diversion at two years post-operation.
Provost Bariatrics is experienced in a variety of bariatric procedures, and has seen the improvements in our diabetic patients who undergo surgery, first-hand. The weight loss procedures performed by Dr. Provost are done laparoscopically in most patients, resulting in less post-operative pain and scarring. You can learn more about our program here.