New research from the New England Journal of Medicine concludes that bariatric surgery is especially effective for treating type 2 diabetes in obese patients.
The STAMPEDE (Surgical Therapy And Medications Potentially Eradicate Diabetes Efficiently) trial is the largest and longest follow-up trial comparing bariatric surgery and medical therapy. Researchers looked at two types of bariatric surgery: gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy. They recruited 150 people with poorly managed diabetes and randomly separated them into three treatment groups: medical therapy only (counseling and medication), gastric bypass, or sleeve gastrectomy.
Performed by Cleveland Clinic researchers, the study found that almost all bariatric patients no longer required insulin or diabetic medication three years after their surgery. One researcher noted these results showed better long-term improvement than traditional medical treatment. Also, more than 90 percent of the study participants lost 25 percent of their body weight. Other bariatric surgery benefits included improved quality of life and lower doses of blood pressure and cholesterol medications.