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Bariatric Surgery Can Lead To Long-Term Diabetes Remission

News | Adelaide Bariatric Centre

23 Oct 2013 11:18 AM

Bariatric Surgery

A recent US study has found that patients with type 2 diabetes continue to enjoy the benefits of bariatric surgery nine years later.

While previous studies have shown that bariatric surgery is an effective treatment for diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk factors, little research has been done into its long-term metabolic effects. The study, published in the journal Annals of Surgery, has shown that patients who undergo bariatric surgery continue to improve or reverse their type 2 diabetes - as well as their cardiovascular risk factors - nine years after having the surgery.

The study showed that 80 per cent of diabetic patients could control their blood glucose five years post-surgery. Almost a third of gastric bypass patients had normal blood glucose levels - without medication - for more than five years after the procedure.

"Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to serious complications such as heart and kidney disease,” said lead researcher Dr Stacy Brethauer, of the Cleveland Clinic Bariatric & Metabolic Institute.

“This study confirms that the procedure can offer durable remission of diabetes in some patients and should be considered as an earlier treatment option for patients with uncontrolled diabetes."

The retrospective study examined data for 217 patients with type 2 diabetes who underwent bariatric surgery and had at least five years of follow-up. The patients were put into three groups, depending on whether they had undergone gastric bypass surgery, gastric banding or sleeve gastrectomy. The patients who underwent gastric bypass enjoyed the highest rates of weight loss and diabetes remission.

After a median average follow-up of six years post-surgery, 50 per cent of patients continued to experience remission of their diabetes - 24 per cent had complete remission without medication and 26 per cent were in partial remission. Furthermore, 34 per cent of patients had improved diabetes control when compared to their pre-surgery status. Patients also significantly reduced their cardiovascular risk factors.