Benefits of Bariatric Surgery Resonated at World Congress Meeting

world congress diabetesTwo articles were published this week about the benefits of weight loss surgery for obese people with Type 2 Diabetes. The results of the groundbreaking research studies were presented at the 2nd World Congress on Interventional Therapies for Type 2 Diabetes.

The first article from ScienceDaily discusses a study finding that bariatric surgery is an especially cost-effective therapy for managing Type 2 diabetes in moderately and severely obese patients.  With over 285 million people worldwide affected by Type 2 Diabetes, the need for effective therapies is imperative.  Some of the health care costs that are associated with diabetes are complications that affect the eyes, heart, kidneys and extremities. Long-term costs include outpatient care, prescription medications and diabetes-related hospitalizations and surgeries, and even amputations.

According to the study, in some cases weight loss surgery is not only cost-effective, it’s cost saving.  Specifically, for obese patients diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes during the two years prior to bariatric surgery, the upfront costs of surgery would be fully recouped through the prevention of future health care costs to treat Type 2 diabetes. Senior Research Fellow and presenter of the study, Catherine Keating, concludes that “the effectiveness credentials for bariatric surgery are now very strong. It has been proven to reduce disease, extend life expectancy and improve quality of life,” and now there is evidence that there are cost benefits, as well.

The second article describes how the results of a 20 year Swedish Obese Subjects (SOS) study indicate that bariatric surgery reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients with diabetes. Researchers compared 2,010 bariatric surgeries with 2,037 non-surgical patients who received medical treatment or lifestyle modification for obesity. The study found that in obese patients with diabetes, two years post bariatric surgery, a striking 70 percent showed remission from diabetes.  At 15 years after surgery, 30 percent remained in remission.

The researchers found that bariatric surgery had reduced new cases of diabetes by 80 percent among obese patients who did not have diabetes at the start of 20 years. Equally striking, the incidence of heart attack or stroke was at least 30 percent lower among postsurgical patients than the non-surgically treated patients.

Both of these articles highlight how weight loss surgery is proving to be a successful option for treating Type 2 Diabetes in obese patients.


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