Gastric bypass helps type-2 diabetes patients

2 new studies support surgery as treatment for the disease


Two new studies support the use of bariatric surgery as a means to treat type-2 diabetes and improve other medical conditions in obese people.

"They both were very similar in the results, showing that surgery gastric bypass, as well as gastric banding, but to a lesser extent, were superior to intense medical therapy in treating diabetes," explained Dr. Philip Schauer did not take part in the studies but is a bariatric surgeon at Cleveland Clinic.

University of Pittsburgh researchers examined the effectiveness of Roux-en Y Gastric Bypass surgery compared to Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding and lifestyle intervention, which included an exercise regimen and a strict diet.  Of the 69 people in the study, 24 received gastric bypass, 22 received the lap band procedure, and 23 people received lifestyle intervention.

Results show those who underwent gastric bypass had the greatest weight change, 17 percent of them saw a complete remission of their type-2 diabetes, and 50 percent of them achieved partial remission.

"It did clearly validate that the gastric bypass is more effective than the band procedure, in terms of improving diabetes control," said Schauer. 

In another study, researchers at brigham and women's hospital tested the effectiveness of gastric bypass surgery on 38 people. They found that after one year 58% of them had greater weight loss and other improvements when compared to non-surgical interventions.

"Blood pressure was improved, also after surgery and even a reduction in the blood pressure medications utilized, which is a double hit there- reduced medications and better blood pressure control," Schauer explained.

Schauer says the research supports the findings in 11 other studies that had similar results.