Bariatric surgery has been known to enhance weight loss for people struggling with obesity and now the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is including bariatric surgery as a recommended treatment option for people who suffer from Type 2 diabetes.
More treatment options
Philip Schauer, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic said these new guidelines are important because they give doctors another tool when treating those with Type 2 diabetes who are not responding well to traditional medical therapy.
“Type two diabetes is rampant in this country, it is a major killer,” said Dr. Schauer. “It’s the seventh biggest killer in our country; it is the major cause of blindness, of kidney failure and amputations in our country and despite the fact there has been better drug treatment, still many patients are not in good control.”
Dr. Schauer said the goal with these new guidelines is to be able to put more people in control of their diabetes and more people into remission.
Research behind the recommendation
Previously, people struggling with Type 2 diabetes were typically put on diet and exercise plans, and sometimes medication, to help lower their blood sugar levels. While bariatric surgery was an option, it was often considered to be a specialized service.
The new recommendations take into consideration data collected worldwide from more than 11 clinical trials conducted over the past 10 years.
Among them was a trial conducted by Cleveland Clinic, which showed that those with Type 2 diabetes who had bariatric surgery were better able to meet their target blood sugar level goals than those who received traditional medical therapy.
Available to more people
With these new guidelines, bariatric surgery is recommended as a treatment option for more people than ever before.
“Even patients with fairly mild obesity, with a BMI as low as 30, they may be eligible for surgery based on relatively new evidence that suggests that these operations are fairly effective and safe,” said Dr. Schauer.
Dr. Schauer said that bariatric surgery is not only effective, but also very safe, as advances in surgical techniques have made it a low risk procedure.