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Gastric Bypass Surgery Helps Diabetics

Procedure helps them control blood sugar, get off medications for disease

FRIDAY, Oct. 10, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- Gastric bypass surgery can improve or eliminate type 2 diabetes in obese people.

The good news comes from a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center study in the October issue of the Annals of Surgery.

The study of a group of obese people with type 2 diabetes found that 83 percent of them experienced a clinical resolution of their disease after having laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery (LGBP), while the remainder showed an improvement in their diabetes.

"Most patients in the study with type 2 diabetes who underwent bypass surgery achieved excellent biochemical glycemic control and were able to reap the clinical benefits of withdrawing from most, if not all, anti-diabetes medications, including insulin," principal investigator Dr. Philip Schauer, director of bariatric surgery, says in a prepared statement.

"Younger diabetes patients with less severe disease stand to gain more from the surgery by circumventing years of progressive, debilitating disease," Schauer adds.

LGBP involves constructing a small pouch of about 15 millimeters and bypassing a small segment of intestines by constructing a Y-shaped limb of small bowel. This helps patients lose weight because of a decrease in caloric intake resulting from the reduced capacity of the small stomach pouch.

Type 2 diabetes, in which the body can't properly use the insulin it produces, is the most common form of diabetes. About 80 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about diabetes.

SOURCE: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, news release, Oct. 2, 2003
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