Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and many more are unaware they are at high risk. More than a quarter of Americans with diabetes are mildly obese (body mass index [BMI] of 30-35.) People with mild obesity and diabetes constitute a larger group than the ‘very obese’; yet they do not always qualify for bariatric surgery.
The findings of a new study, however, provide support for performing weight loss surgery at a lower BMI for patients with diabetes. The study found that patients with severe diabetes – but only mild obesity – experienced a dramatic benefit after surgery. As much as 88 percent of the patients experienced remission within 6 months, along with major reductions in 10-year cardiovascular risk. Another 11 percent of the patients were able to withdraw insulin usage and/or reduce their dosage of oral medicine between just 3-14 weeks after surgery. Of the 66 patients in the study, there was no mortality, major surgical complications, excessive weight loss, or malnutrition. The surgery performed in this study was gastric bypass.
Currently, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends bariatric surgery for patients with a BMI of 40 or greater, or 35 or greater if the patient has a serious obesity-related condition. More and more research, however, is demonstrating that surgery can be a very effective treatment option for obese people with diabetes, and as this study shows, perhaps even for patients who are not currently a candidate for surgery based on BMI. The study’s findings were published in the July issue of Diabetes Care and presented at the annual scientific sessions of the American Diabetes Association earlier this year. As of last year, the FDA expanded approval of the Lap Band for patients with the following restrictions:
- BMI as low as 30
- obesity-related health conditions
- high blood pressure
- sleep apnea
Gastric bypass has resolved type 2 diabetes in 83.8% of patients and often resolved the disease within days of surgery. The gastric sleeve procedure shows that the excess body weight loss at 12 months is 45% to 64%, with significant resolution of obesity related illnesses. Gastric banding studies found that gastric banding resolved type 2 diabetes in 47.8 percent of patients, resolved high blood pressure in 38.4% of patients, and improved high cholesterol in 78.3% of patients.
Here at Surgical Specialists, we offer multiple weight loss procedures. You can learn more about weight loss surgery procedures and the health benefits associated with weight loss surgery by attending a free informational session, calling 877-691-3001, or visiting our website.