Surgery not an easy fix for diabetes

December 18, 2012 by Kirby Messinger

(Medical Xpress)—Over the past few years, weight loss surgery has become an increasingly popular option to treat Type 2 diabetes, but Dr. Vivian Fonseca, professor of medicine at the Tulane University School of Medicine, says it is not a cure-all. 

A recent study in the journal found that many obese Type 2 diabetics who undergo gastric bypass surgery do not experience a of their disease. And of those who do, about a third redevelop diabetes within five years of their operation. This is a contrast to previous studies that reported surgery worked better than drugs, diet and exercise in causing a remission of .

"People had the impression that bariatric surgery was a fantastic cure for diabetes. This latest study enrolled a population that allowed researchers to monitor people following surgery for an extended period of time," says Fonseca, who holds the Tullis-Tulane Alumni Chair in Diabetes and is section chief of endocrinology.

Although some patients involved in the study had a relapse of diabetes because they regained weight, others redeveloped the disease but maintained their weight loss. The study has created additional questions regarding bariatric surgery but more importantly has given patients and physicians a dose of reality.

Although there is still no cure-all for diabetes, Fonseca and his team are working on several studies of diabetes treatment including an alternative to gastric bypass surgery.

"In the new year, we will begin working on an EndoBarrier technique that is a less invasive and totally reversible way of achieving some of the benefits of bariatric surgery," says Fonseca.

Fonseca's team is working on a program to communicate with through text messaging. In the spring, Tulane researchers also will begin to study a large variety of current diabetes treatments to compare them.

Explore further: Weight Loss Plays Key Role in Diabetes Improvement Following Bariatric Surgery

Related Stories

Study Puts Bariatric Surgery for Type 2 Diabetes to the Test

December 29, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A multi-disciplinary team of Penn researchers, including diabetes, weight loss and bariatric surgery experts, are conducting a study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to determine if bariatric ...

Scientists reassess weight loss surgery for type 2 diabetes

January 4, 2012

Weight loss surgery is not a cure for type 2 diabetes, but it can improve blood sugar control, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Surgery. Whereas some previous studies have claimed that up to 80 ...

Gastric bypass surgery helps diabetes but doesn't cure it

November 26, 2012

After gastric bypass surgery, diabetes goes away for some people—often even before they lose much weight. So does that mean gastric surgery "cures" diabetes? Not necessarily, according to the largest community-based study ...

Recommended for you

New study reveals a novel protein linked to type 2 diabetes

August 16, 2016

Findings from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), which appear in eLife, provide a possible explanation as to why most people who are obese develop insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. A minority of obese individuals, ...

Gene variant explains differences in diabetes drug response

August 9, 2016

The first results from a large international study of patients taking metformin, the world's most commonly used type 2 diabetes drug, reveal genetic differences among patients that may explain why some respond much better ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.