Saturday, February 23, 2008

Weight-Loss Surgery Can Cure Diabetes for the Obese

(BUSINESS WIRE)--An estimated three in every four obese people suffering from diabetes can be cured of the disease with bariatric surgery, according to a groundbreaking new study reported in the current edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Experts say this finding opens the door to changes in the treatment of diabetes that are as profound as the discovery of insulin.

“It’s truly exciting to see a medical study document what we have seen in our practice – patients with Type 2 diabetes can lose weight safely and reduce or eliminate their need for diabetic medications including insulin,” said Richard Collier MD, who along with Drs Matthew St. Laurent and Ata Ahmad, performs gastric band surgery at JourneyLite of Houston.

According to JAMA, researchers have found that 73 percent of patients, who underwent a stomach reducing surgical procedure, were cured of Type 2 diabetes when compared to only 13 percent of diabetics that followed other forms of conventional therapy - dieting, weight loss and medication - went into remission. Diabetes is the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States. The death toll from diabetes has grown by nearly 50 percent in the past 20 years.
Obesity is a growing national epidemic. From 1976 to 2004, the percent of adults (age 20 to 74 years in the United States who were obese) more than doubled from 15 to 32.9 percent. Nearly 20 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes.

How Gastric Bands Work

The band used in this bariatric study is surgically placed around the top of the stomach. Part of the stomach is stitched over it to hold the device in place, while the access port is secured closer to the skin. Once the band is in place, a saline solution can be injected into the access port. The fluid travels along the silicone tubing, and then fills the circular inflation membrane, making the band tighter. This constricts the stomach opening, and reduces the amount of space inside, giving the patient an earlier feeling of fullness, limiting food consumption. Adding or removing saline through the access port, according to the patient’s needs, can adjust the band’s tightness. This system allows for long-term, non-surgical adjustability.
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