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Gastric banding surgery may help improve, reverse type 2 diabetes

There is new hope for the millions of Americans who live with type 2 diabetes. A number of recent studies suggest bariatric surgery – particularly gastric banding and gastric bypass surgery, which are both offered at Mercy – can help manage and potentially cure the chronic disease.

While earlier studies found gastric bypass operations reduced the incidence of diabetes in patients, a recent Australian study specifically investigated gastric banding surgery as a method of treating type 2 diabetes.

In the study sample, all patients had a body mass index between 30 and 40 and had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes during the previous two years. To test the effects of gastric banding surgery, one group underwent the operation while another was subjected to a traditional diabetes care approach of diet and lifestyle modification.

The study revealed that patients who had gastric banding surgery and lost a substantial amount of weight were five times more likely to see their diabetes disappear over the next two years than those who did not have the surgery.

“The findings of this recent study echo the results we’ve seen with our own bariatric surgery patients,” said Dr. Steve Cahalan, Mercy bariatric surgeon. “It is common for our patients to lose more than 100 pounds, which has a significant impact on blood glucose levels and can lead to the improvement and resolution of type 2 diabetes.”

Dr. Anuj Bhargava, president and founder of the Iowa Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center, agrees that significant weight loss is an effective tool against type 2 diabetes. “Studies have shown that 70-85 percent of type 2 diabetics achieve complete resolution or improvement of their disease after successful bariatric surgery,” he said.

Mercy, an American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence, currently performs both gastric banding and gastric bypass surgery at Mercy Medical Center – West Lakes. More information about Mercy’s bariatric surgery services and a schedule of upcoming informational sessions is available online or by calling (515) 643-0556.  

For more information regarding bariatric surgery, contact Mercy Center for Weight Reduction, (515) 643-0556.

For media inquiries, contact Gregg Lagan, Mercy Public Relations and Marketing, (515) 247-3050 or (515) 490-6636.

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