Two studies, released Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine, compare the impact of weight loss operations to medicines alone for reversing Type 2 diabetes brought on by obesity.  According to the findings of each report, weight loss surgeries, like Lap Band, are more effective at helping patients normalize their blood sugar levels than medicine.  In one case, a patient was able to stop taking insulin three days post surgery.   

Patricia Costales, Family Nurse Practitioner-Certified for Lovelace Bariatrics,is not surprised by the findings, “We have performed more than 400 surgeries since the start of our Lap Band program at Lovelace Westside Hospital.  More than two-thirds of our patients have uncontrolled or controlled type 2 diabetes.  The patient’s average weight loss in their first year is 65 pounds.  The spectrum ranges from 35 pounds to 120 pounds in the first year.  The HgBA1C decreases by 1 to 2 percent in the first year.   If the diabetic patient presents with three or more agents within two months they will decrease to one agent.  If the patient presents with two or less agents they will be off all agents and their diet will be controlled by their second month.  Most of our diabetics will be in remission by one year after surgery.”

With more than 25 million Americans affected by diabetes, medical professionals across the country warn that this news should not be taken as a cure for diabetes or an excuse to eat without regard for your health.  The reports do, however, offer support for surgery to be considered a more standard treatment option for Type 2 diabetes, especially for patients who have not had successful results from medication alone.

If you have considered weight loss (also known as bariatric) surgery, there are important criteria to evaluate first.  Please visit our Lovelace Bariatrics website or call 505.898.1414 for more information, as well as information to better understand if you are a candidate.

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