Weight Loss Surgery – An Effective Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes

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Two studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is effective in treating obese diabetic patients. The new studies compared the results of conventional drug therapy and bariatric surgeries (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy) and found that the procedures can cause significant recovery from both early and long-term Type 2 Diabetes in obese patients. Experimental studies found that glucose levels in the two surgical groups were significantly lower than medical therapy group.  

      In the gastric bypass surgery the stomach is cut into a smaller pouch and a much larger pouch. A cut is made at the lower part of the small intestine and is attached to the smaller pouch of the stomach. Ingested food now passes through this new bypass. The stomach now will be smaller, intake of food will be reduced and also the absorption of calories.  The larger pouch is also attached to the small intestine so that the   juices secreted are used for the digestion of food in the small intestine. In sleeve gastrectomy, 75 to 80% of stomach reduction is done by vertical stapling. These surgeries can be performed laparoscopically or by an open surgery.  Follow up treatment is necessarily given to the patients by a multidisciplinary team for about 24 months after surgery. 

      Type 2 Diabetes is increasing at a faster rate which is closely associated with lifestyle and obesity. These surgeries might possibly reduce other weight related diseases like heart diseases, strokes and kidney failures along with diabetes.   

      On the contrary, many specialists believe that the results obtained are temporary, and sensible eating with regular exercise is any day better than the surgical treatments as these surgeries may lead to complications in the long run.

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