Study: Weight Loss Surgery An Effective Tool In Combating Diabetes
Cornell doctors are part of one of the biggest studies to date supporting weight loss surgery as a dramatic solution to Type 2 diabetes. NY1's Kafi Drexel filed the following report.
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Three years ago, Leonardo Zangani weighed in at 298 pounds. He knew his health was in trouble.
"My family doctor, he just told me that he discovered that I had a very serious case of diabetes," recalled Zangani.
After undergoing bariatric weight loss surgery as part of a joint study with doctors at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell in New York and Catholic University in Italy, Zangani's Type 2 diabetes is in remission.
In one of the largest studies so far with the longest follow-up -- two years -- doctors were able to show weight loss surgery beat traditional methods of diabetes treatment.
"We’ve been studying this for many years now and we know that certain forms of bariatric surgeries can improve diabetes quite dramatically," said Chief of Gastrointestinal Metabolic Surgery at York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Dr. Francesco Rubino. "The novelty of the study is that we have compared surgery and medical treatment to one another in what is called a randomized trial."
In the trial, 60 patients between the ages of 30 to 60 were split up into three groups. One group underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Another group had biliopancreatic diversion.
The third group received conventional medications like insulin therapy.
None of the patients in the conventional group went into remission, but 95 percent in the biliopancreatic diversion group and 75 percent in the Roux-en-Y group went into remission and maintained it for the full course of the study.
"Diabetes is a very complex disease," Rubino noted. "When it is also with severe obesity it becomes more complicated. Many of the medications you should use to treat it, for instance, insulin, has a side effect of increase body weight."
Rubino hopes the findings in his study further support surgery as a more mainstream solution for obese patients.
Options are also being explored for patients classified as overweight.