Much research has been done on the positive association between bariatric surgery and improvement or remission of diabetes. While the gastric sleeve and gastric bypass are very effective treatments, these procedures are generally reserved for obese patients only. However, there has been some research on the potential for the gastric band to be used on people who have less weight to lose. Now a new study has shown that gastric band surgery (commonly referred to as the Lap-Band) can help treat type 2 diabetes in people who are overweight but not classified as obese. Researchers from the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Monash University studied 50 overweight people with type 2 diabetes. They were randomly assigned either standard medical therapy, or gastric banding with the medical therapy. Two years into the trial, more than half of the banded group were in remission of their diabetes, while only eight percent of the standard medical therapy group was in remission.
The connection between excessive body weight and diabetes is well known, but while the benefits of weight loss for obese people suffering with diabetes have been well-documented, it has not been clear if those who were overweight – but not obese – would experience the same benefits. Currently, gastric banding is approved for patients with a BMI of 35 or greater, or 30 or greater for patients with an obesity-related health condition, like diabetes. This first-of-its kind study adds evidence to the benefits of surgery extending to people with diabetes who have a lesser amount of weight to lose.
At Chattanooga Bariatrics, we see first-hand how bariatric surgery options like the gastric sleeve and the gastric band can be highly effective tools for obese patients with diabetes. We are pleased to see research showing that the benefits may be extended to the overweight population as well.