Researchers report bariatric surgery may help obese patients achieve long-term remission
It has long been known that obesity increases your risk for several health conditions, including type 2 diabetes. Now, there’s new evidence that obese patients with type 2 diabetes have long-term improved glucose control with weight loss surgery, compared to medical therapy alone.
“There are many risk factors for type 2 diabetes but the most significant one is obesity,” said Dr. Grayson Menard, General and Bariatric Surgeon with Tennova Healthcare. “People who are overweight are more likely to have insulin resistance and impaired insulin secretion that leads to increased blood glucose levels.”
Diabetes affects an estimated 29 million people in the United States. It is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Raised blood sugar is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and over time may cause serious complications, including blindness, lower extremity amputations, kidney disease, heart attack and stroke.
“In addition to long-term weight loss success, we now have evidence of long-term improvement in blood glucose levels after weight loss surgery,” Dr. Menard said. “This study demonstrated that 89% of patients treated with either gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy were not taking insulin five years after the procedure.”
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that five years after weight loss surgery (also known as bariatric surgery), those who had the procedures showed better improvements in overall health, compared with intensive medical treatment alone.
According to the study results, about one-third of those who had bariatric surgery achieved a complete remission of their disease. In other words, their blood sugar returned to normal levels and they did not need medication, including diabetes pills, insulin therapy or other injectables. In addition, they lost significantly more weight and had dramatically lower triglycerides and cholesterol (blood fats) than those who were treated with medication alone.
Bariatric surgery procedures, including the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy, are offered at Tennova Healthcare – Regional Jackson. Both of these procedures reduce the size of the stomach and decrease production of the appetite hormone called Grehlin, making it easier to eat less.
According to Dr. Menard, the gastric bypass involves decreasing the size of the stomach and rearranging the small intestine to decrease absorption of calories. The decreased absorption of calories leads to improved weight loss.
The sleeve gastrectomy involves removing a large portion of the stomach. This “new” stomach has a much smaller capacity, which means patients feel full or satisfied after eating only a small amount of food.
“This study shows long-term benefits of bariatric surgery especially in patients with type 2 diabetes,” Dr. Menard said. “I would recommend obese patients especially with diabetes seriously consider bariatric surgery.”
To learn more about surgical weight loss and whether you qualify, call 1-855-TENNOVA (836-6682) or visit TennovaWeightLoss.com and sign up for a weight loss surgery seminar this month.
About Tennova Healthcare
One of the state’s largest health networks, Tennova Healthcare includes 16 hospitals and more than 115 physician clinics. The combined network has approximately 2,600 licensed beds, 2,800 physicians on the combined active medical staffs, and 9,000 employees, with more than 70,000 admissions and 465,000 emergency department visits each year. Learn more at www.Tennova.com.