On Monday, researchers reported in two new clinical trials that several types of weight-loss surgery were more effective at controlling blood-sugar levels in obese people with diabetes than the usual care regimen of diet and drugs.
In many cases, as Los Angeles Times reporter Melissa Healy wrote Monday (see related items link), surgical procedures to reduce the size and sometimes the placement of the stomach often allowed subjects to discontinue diabetes medications within weeks.
Dr. Carson Liu, a surgeon in Santa Monica who has been performing weight-loss surgeries for more than a decade, said he welcomed the studies. They bore out his experience in his practice: that patients who have gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy surgeries (as well as those who have lap-band surgeries with proper follow-up, who weren’t tracked in the clinical trials) have great success reversing their Type 2 diabetes.
"It’s great to get the word out there," he said. “We want patients to be aware of the options.”
Liu told Booster Shots that he believed the surgeries worked because they forced patients to eat more healthfully, eschewing starchy and sugary food in favor of green vegetables and lean proteins. “Surgery seems to have better outcomes because it forces patients’ hand on the diet,” he said. “Gastric bypass, the sleeve and the band get people into better habits.”