Surgery For Diabetes Isn't A Cure-All
Although recent studies have indicated that weight-loss surgery can cure Type 2 diabetes, experts are cautioning that the procedures are not cure-alls.
Two studies released earlier this month showed a reduction or even remission in Type 2 diabetes in patients who underwent gastric-bypass surgery. But in response to those studies, the Endocrine Society said that in addition to surgery, long-term lifestyle changes were needed. “Bariatric surgery [alone] is not a guarantee of successful weight loss and maintenance,” the society said in a statement.
In the studies, conducted at the Cleveland Clinic and the Catholic University of Rome, patients suffered some complications with surgery: re-operations, osteoporosis, gastrointestinal leaks and wound infection. The Endrocrine Society acknowledged that the side effects are not life threatening.
The group expressed concern, though, that some surgeons might not be familiar enough with the surgery, a crucial factor to consider since thousands of Type 2 diabetes patients will probably want to undergo the operation. The cost can be prohibitive: anywhere from$10,000 to $42,000.
Finally, experts caution that the surgical solution doesn’t address the underlying habit of poor eating that leads to obesity—a major factor in the diabetes epidemic in the U.S.