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Obesity Surgery Helps Type 2 Diabetes

<P>Diabetes Improved or Went Away in 97% of Patients</P>
WebMD Health News

April 25, 2003 -- Obesity surgery nearly always helps type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

The finding comes from University of Pittsburgh researchers led by Philip Schauer, MD, co-director of the minimally invasive surgery center at the university's Presbyterian Hospital.

At this week's annual meeting of the American Surgical Association, Schauer reported on 144 women and 48 obese men with type 2 diabetes. Before undergoing laparoscopic Roux-en Y gastric bypass surgery -- which reduces stomach size to a tiny pouch -- these patients weighed an average 308 pounds. Average weight lost after surgery was 97 pounds.

Diabetes went away or got better in 97% of the patients. The longer a person had had diabetes, the longer it took to get better.

The 199 patients who had diabetes for less than five years saw their diabetes resolve in 46 days. The 29 who had diabetes for more than 10 years had their diabetes resolve in 98 days. None of the patients' diabetes got worse after surgery.

"Patients with the shortest duration and mildest form of diabetes prior to surgery had quicker resolution and significantly better outcomes," Schauer says in a news release. "[This suggests] that early surgical intervention is warranted to increase the likelihood of patients having a normal [blood sugar] level."

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