-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Weight loss surgery isn't
likely to cure type 2 diabetes, but it can improve blood sugar
control, a new study suggests.
Obesity is a major risk factor for diabetes. Some previous
research has suggested that gastric bypass surgery can cure
diabetes in up to 80 percent of patients. Gastric bypass, which
involves stapling the stomach to form a smaller pouch and
connecting it to the small intestine, is considered the most
effective type of weight loss surgery.
In this study, researchers at Imperial College London in England
used new criteria to assess the effects of gastric bypass and two
other types of weight loss surgery in 209 patients with type 2
They found that remission occurred in only 41 percent of
patients who had gastric bypass surgery, 26 percent who had sleeve
gastrectomy (surgical removal of part of the stomach), and 7
percent of those who had gastric banding, in which a band is used
to restrict stomach size.
Complete remission is the return to normal measures of glucose
metabolism without taking diabetes medications at least one year
after weight loss surgery, according to a definition developed by a
group of experts recently brought together by the American Diabetes
"Using the new criteria, we don't get such eye-catching figures as some that have been quoted in recent years," study leader Dr. Carel le Roux, of the department of medicine at Imperial College London, said in a college news release. "But it's clear that weight loss surgery, particularly gastric bypass, has a significant beneficial effect on glucose control."
The researcher added that diabetes "is a chronic, multi-system
disease. Stomach surgery may not mean that patients can stop taking
diabetes medication, but surgery and medication together achieve
better results than either treatment on its own."
The study appears in the January issue of the
British Journal of Surgery.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases has more about
weight loss surgery.
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