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Bariatric surgery often rids need for diabetes medication

September 17, 2010
Obese people with Type 2 diabetes generally are able to control their diabestes without medication within a few months of undergoing bariatric surgery for weight loss.

Johns Hopkins University researchers have found that three out of four patients who undergo the weight-loss surgery are able to stop taking insulin or other medication within six months of surgery. In a study of more than 2,200 adults, the researchers found that by two years following the operation, nearly 85 percent of the patients studied were not taking medication and maintaining improved blood glucose levels.

Dr. Martin Makary, a surgeon and associate professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said the surgery addresses two major health problems - obesity and diabetes - but shouldn't be viewed as an option for everyone. "This surgery is for the right candidates. To qualify for bariatric surgery you have to have a body mass index greater than 30. And it's something that needs to be considered when all other interventions have failed," he explained.

The research team's findings were published recently in Archives of Surgery.

Syosset Hospital, a part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, has been designated as a bariatric surgery "center of excellence" by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
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