Lap-band and Diabetes

An estimated 25.8 million people in the United States have type 2 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. As astonishing as the figure is, experts predict that a diabetes epidemic is looming, fueled in part by swelling obesity rates. Obesity has long been associated with the development of type 2 diabetes, which is caused by the body gradually losing its ability to use insulin properly to convert blood sugar into fuel. Research has shown that weight loss surgery (gastric bypass and Lap-band) is an effective treatment for obese patients with diabetes, with two recent studies demonstrating the effectiveness of surgery published in the New England Journal of Medicine earlier this year. Most recently, a 2 year interim report of the on-going 5 year APEX study demonstrated that the Lap-Band is highly effective in treating diabetes. Over 95 percent of the patients in the study saw improvement in their glucose control. Specifically, 48.5 percent of the patients were able to stop taking their oral diabetes medication, and another 47 percent were able to reduce their diabetes medication following surgery. Only 4.5 percent of the patients had no improvement in glucose control and they were the patients that had diabetes for the longest period of time and also shed less weight, on average, than the "remission group".

Findings such as these are encouraging, as we face growing rates of diabetes. While diet and weight loss are foundational to diabetes management, lifestyle recommendations are often difficult to achieve and sustain. Weight loss surgery, such as gastric banding, combined with healthy food and diet can allow you the ability to achieve your weight loss needs and improve diabetes.

Drs. Keith Wright and Gerardo Carcamo with South Texas Surgeons are available for consultation to discuss these findings in more detail to help you decide if the Lap-Band is right for you.

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