Bariatric Surgery for Diabetes: Significant Benefits Observed

In the United States, more than 90% of 25.8 million adults with diabetes have type 2 disease, according to the CDC. More than 1.9 million cases were diagnosed in 2010 alone among adults aged 20 and older. Approximately 90% of type 2 diabetes has been attributable to excess weight and obesity. “The results of noninvasive interventions for type 2 diabetes and obesity, such as lifestyle changes and pharmacotherapy, have been disappointing,” says Jon C. Gould, MD. “Bariatric surgery appears to be one of the most effective, long-lasting treatments for obesity. In many clinical trials, these procedures have been quite effective for individuals who are obese and have type 2 diabetes.” Riveting New Data on Bariatric Surgery Results In the June 2011 Archives of Surgery, a systematic review was published demonstrating that bariatric surgery leads to marked and long-lasting weight reduction, and may be capable of improving or even curing type 2 diabetes. The analysis reviewed findings from nine studies that followed obese patients with diabetes who underwent either gastric bypass or gastric banding for 1 year. Rick Meijer, MD, and colleagues from Amsterdam found that Roux-en-Y gastric bypass led to a reversal rate of type 2 diabetes of 83%. Adjustable gastric banding led to a reversal rate of 62%, and this effect was achieved later after surgery (Figure 1). “The presence of diabetes is a compelling argument to perform bariatric surgery in eligible patients according to nationally recognized criteria for the procedure,” says Dr. Gould. “Dr. Meijer’s study showed that glycemic control improved in the months after laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, but it improved more rapidly and completely after...