Thursday, April 19, 2012

Obesity Surgery has miraculous results for diabetics

In two high quality studies conducted by researchers at Cleveland Clinic and published in NEJM, shows that diabetic patients who underwent a gastric bypass are likely to have their diabetes reversed. (drug free) In the study patients were randomly assigned to three arms in a double blind manner (N=150)-
1) One group of  patients received only medicines
2) One group of patients underwent gastric surgery
3) One group of patients underwent sleeve gastrectomy
As per the results from the study 12% of patients on medicine saw their sugar return to non-diabetic levels as compared to 42% and 37% of the patients who took gastric surgery and sleeve gastrectomy respectively.
Post surgery the average number of drugs that these patients took were down from 2.5 to 0.5, which means most patients were not taking drugs after surgery.  In case of sleeve gastrectomy the average number of drugs were down from 2.5 to 1. While those who were randomised to receive medicine the average number of medication increased from 2.5 to 3. The results are really miracolous but We need longer duration trials to understand the long term benefit and safety of these procedures.

Obesity surgery has its risks of rehospitalization and the need for blood transfusion, but it is still better than continuing with medications life long.