Bariatric Surgery plays a large role in treating Type 2 Diabetes at Griffin Hospital
Two randomized clinical trials published this week in The New England Journal of Medicine demonstrate bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment for type 2 diabetes in obese and morbidly obese patients and suggest surgery should be considered sooner and more often for patients battling the twin epidemics of diabetes and obesity. The results for the first head-to-head trials comparing surgery to medical treatment were:
• In the study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic, patients were studied who had a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 27 and 43. Within one year, diabetes remission rates with bariatric surgery were about 40 percent (42% with the gastric bypass, 37% with the sleeve gastrectomy) compared to about 12 percent for patients treated with the best medical therapy available.
• In the two-year study conducted by Catholic University of Rome Italy and New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, remission rates were about 85 percent for bariatric surgery (75% with the gastric bypass, 95% with the biliopancreatic diversion) and zero for medical therapy in patients with BMI greater than 35.
• In the surgical groups, both weight loss and preoperative BMI were not predictors of diabetes control, which suggest that bariatric surgical procedures may exert effects on diabetes that are independent of weight loss.
We have seen similar results at Griffin Hospital with our Bariatric Surgery Program. Often, patients leave the hospital without the need for their diabetes medicines – just 2 days after bariatric surgery. The studies were able to show that bariatric surgery is superior to medical treatment in producing remission, even before weight loss. Even when diabetes does not go into full remission, we see that patients’ diabetes management has improved.
Bariatric surgery is not always a covered benefit by insurance carrier. More patients need access to this important option sooner. Since bariatric surgery proved more effective than medical therapy for type 2 diabetes, we hope that more patients may now gain greater access to a safe and proven treatment that has been denied too long to too many. To find out if your insurance carrier covers bariatric surgery, please contact our office.
Griffin Bariatrics, our comprehensive bariatric surgery program, provides educational seminars, support groups, On Track Workshops and a specialized bariatric exercise program. To learn more about Griffin Bariatrics and bariatric surgery, please register for a free informational seminar.
Image from Diabetes Anonymous on Flickr
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