The Effects of Surgical Treatment in Mildly Obese Patients with Type 2 Diabetes

Doctor with Stethoscope Holding Red Measuring Tape.Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and obesity are both important public health concerns that require new and novel methods of stemming the diseases, according to a team led by researchers at the Hospital J.J. Aguirre in Santiago, Chile. In a study, the researchers set out to explore 1 treatment option—laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGBP)—and the effects of this procedure on the glycemic control of men and women living with T2DM.

In particular, the researchers were interested in the effects of the surgery on mildly obese patients. Their study, “Type 2 diabetes mellitus in patients with mild obesity: preliminary results of surgical treatment,” was published online ahead of print in September 2012 in Obesity Surgery.

The prospective clinical trial relied on data from 31 patients (16 women and 15 men) with T2DM who were classified as being mildly obese. The average age of the participants was 48.7 ± 8.6 years, and the average number of years since the onset of diabetes was 5.8. 

The patients underwent laparoscopic RYGBP between July 2008 and October 2010. Prior to their operations, the average blood glucose level was 152 ± 70 mg/dl, and the average glycosylated hemoglobin was 7.7 ± 2.1 %. All of the participants were taking oral hypoglycemic medications, and 4 of the study participants were insulin dependent.

The results showed that the patients’ average BMI had decreased by the 36-month follow-up, and all of the participants showed some improvement in their glycemic control. Additionally, the majority of the patients (29 out of 31; 93.6%) met the criteria for T2DM remission following their surgery. Only 1 participant suffered from a post-surgery complication.

The researchers conclude that their study demonstrates that laparoscopic RYGBP is an effective procedure for helping mildly obese patients with T2DM. Patients who underwent the procedure showed both lowered BMI and better glycemic control.

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