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Bariatric Surgery May Help Diabetic Kidney Disease

Weight Loss Surgery May Improve or Eliminate Some Diabetes-Related Kidney Problems, Researchers Say

Bariatric Surgery & Kidney Problems: Perspective

The study has good points and limitations, says Benjamin Canales, MD, MPH, assistant professor of urology at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He reviewed the study.

He conducts bariatric surgery research on animals. He believes the Cleveland Clinic study is the longest follow-up to date to look at how bariatric surgery might improve kidney problems.

"This is a very promising long-term study in a group of diabetic patients who typically progress in their kidney disease over a course of five to 20 years," he says.

One limitation, however, he says, is the lack of a comparison group. In this case, it would be obese patients with diabetes who did not have the surgery.

"The author's conclusion that bariatric surgery 'may improve or even prevent long-term nephropathy' may be true, there's just no way to make this assumption based on the small number of positive results presented here," Canales tells WebMD.

More study is needed, he says.

These findings were presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the "peer review" process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

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