Diabetes as a surgical disease


There’s a great new article over at Medscape by David Lautz, MD; Florencia Halperin, MD; Ann Goebel-Fabbri, PHD; Allison B. Goldfine, MD
that was recently published in Diabetes Care 2011;34(3):763-770 entitled

“The Great Debate: Medicine or Surgery: What Is Best for the Patient With Type 2 Diabetes?”

It’s quite lengthy so I won’t repost here – but it’s definitely recommended reading for my diabetic readers out there. I have included some highlights from the discussion – which correlate with much of what we’ve previously discussed here.

Re-post from article:
“Recent observational studies demonstrate that bariatric surgical procedures reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes and lead to substantial improvement or “resolution” for many patients with preexisting disease. Type 2 diabetes has “resolved” (defined in the surgical literature as maintenance of normal blood glucose after discontinuation of all diabetes-related medications, in most studies with HbA1c 35 kg/m2 and raise the question of whether surgical interventions should be considered earlier in the course of disease or for lesser magnitude of excess weight and specifically for the treatment of diabetes as opposed to treatment of obesity.”

It’s a nice well-balanced article, which discusses the theories behind the resolution of diabetes after surgery (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass), as well as the concerns of endocrinologists about the use of surgery for diabetes management. The authors give a nice detailed description of the various bariatric surgery procedures and nonsurgical treatment options, in a fair and balanced manner. It’s a timely article, coming on the heels of the recent AHA statement – which harks back to an era of blaming the patient and ignoring the problem..

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