Though someone of any size can develop type 2 diabetes, individuals who are obese or overweight are at a higher risk. However, new research suggests weight-loss surgery may be able to combat and even prevent diabetes.
In a study that involved more than 1,600 patients, researchers discovered bariatric surgery not only sustained weight loss in obese men and women, but also lowered their rate of developing type 2 diabetes.
Patients who participated in the study underwent two kinds of bariatric surgery. Several patients underwent banding procedures that limited their food intake, but did not affect their digestive process. Other patients participated in gastric bypass, which is a surgery that involves shrinking the stomach and rearranging the bowels. Researchers compared this group with another group of 1,771 obese patients who were getting non-surgical treatment.
Doctors followed the patients for 15 years and found those who had bariatric surgery lost nearly 45 pounds, while the control group lost significantly less.
Dr. Claude Bouchard, an author of the study and a professor at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana, found 10 out of 13 patients managed to avoid being diagnosed with diabetes after 10 years. According to The New York Times, this number was more than double than what an obese individual who made lifestyle changes would see in regards to diabetes risk reduction.
But do the results outweigh the risk?
The surgical procedure alone can cause serious risk such excessive bleeding, infection, adverse reactions to anesthesia, blood clots and even at times death- but it doesn't stop there. Following the surgery an individual can be at risk for hernias, hypoglycemia, ulcers, gallstones, bowel obstruction and again-death. A study conducted in 2009 by researchers from the University of Washington, found that one in 50 people will die in less than one month after gastric bypass surgery.
As with any surgery, make sure you take the necessary time to make an informed decision. Discuss the procedure, your concerns or your questions with any potential surgeon. For bariatric surgery choosing institutions, and surgeons, with a strong background in the procedure will give you the best results, and care, possible.
This study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.