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: Scientists reassess weight loss surgery for type 2 diabetes

Related Stories

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

Engineered hot fat implants reduce weight gain in mice

August 20, 2015

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a novel way to engineer the growth and expansion of energy-burning "good" fat, and then found that this fat helped reduce weight gain and lower blood glucose ...

Promising progress for new treatment of type 1 diabetes

July 30, 2015

New research from Uppsala University shows promising progress in the use of anti-inflammatory cytokine for treatment of type 1 diabetes. The study, published in the open access journal Scientific Reports, reveals that administration ...

Bacteria may cause type 2 diabetes

June 1, 2015

Bacteria and viruses have an obvious role in causing infectious diseases, but microbes have also been identified as the surprising cause of other illnesses, including cervical cancer (Human papilloma virus) and stomach ulcers ...

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.