None in the medicine group reversed their diabetes. Their need for high blood pressure medicine and cholesterol medicines increased, although not significantly. Their sleep apnea did not change.
The study results are not surprising, said Dr. Ronald Goldberg, a professor of medicine at the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
"It's fairly in line with previous research using different bypass procedures," he said.
The latest findings could be very good news for very obese patients with diabetes, he said.
"The milder type is much more likely to go into remission than someone who has longstanding or complicated diabetes," he said. The procedure is worth consideration by someone who is very obese and has type 2 diabetes, he added.
The cost of the procedure in the United States is between $10,000 and $15,000.
"There is no question that over the short term, surgery has to be more expensive," Goldberg said. "But with time, the increased cost of managing diabetes, and particularly its complications, would make a cost-benefit comparison more meaningful."
To learn more about diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association.
SOURCES: Nicola Basso, M.D., Ph.D., professor, surgery, University of Rome, Sapienza; Ronald Goldberg, M.D, endocrinologist and professor, medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; April 16, 2012, Archives of Surgery, online
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