Weight loss surgery may be effective diabetes treatment for obese
New research from the New England Journal of Medicine concludes that bariatric surgery is especially effective for treating type 2 diabetes in obese patients.
The STAMPEDE (Surgical Therapy And Medications Potentially Eradicate Diabetes Efficiently) trial is the largest and longest follow-up trial comparing bariatric surgery and medical therapy. Researchers looked at two types of bariatric surgery: gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy. They recruited 150 people with poorly managed diabetes and randomly separated them into three treatment groups: medical therapy only (counseling and medication), gastric bypass, or sleeve gastrectomy.
Performed by Cleveland Clinic researchers, the study found that almost all bariatric patients no longer required insulin or diabetic medication three years after their surgery. One researcher noted these results showed better long-term improvement than traditional medical treatment. Also, more than 90 percent of the study participants lost 25 percent of their body weight. Other bariatric surgery benefits included improved quality of life and lower doses of blood pressure and cholesterol medications.
Patients that underwent bariatric surgery showed noteworthy results three years later compared to those in the medical therapy group. More than 37 percent of patients in the gastric bypass group had controlled blood sugars without diabetic medications compared to 24.5 percent in the gastrectomy group and five percent in the medical therapy group. Also, the bariatric patients had five to six times greater weight loss than the medical therapy group.
The researchers concluded that gastric bypass is the most effective treatment for obese patients with type 2 diabetes. However, more research is needed before gastric bypass is recommended for diabetes treatment by doctors.