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Weight-Loss Surgery Safe, Effective Type 2 Diabetes Treatment
Date:6/24/2009

Research shows procedure is no more dangerous than other routine surgeries

WEDNESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Not only does one of the largest studies on bariatric surgery find the procedure to be as safe as other routine surgeries, two other studies confirm that it also appears to stave off diabetes for the long term.

Researchers from Duke University Medical Center analyzed data from nearly 58,000 patients included in the Bariatric Outcomes Longitudinal Database (BOLD), the largest repository of medical information on people who've undergone the weight-loss surgery.

Only about 10 percent had complications, according to the study, which was to be presented Wednesday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, in Grapevine, Texas.

The most common complaint was nausea or vomiting, though researchers said they had not yet completed their analysis. Total mortality was less than 1 percent.

"This is further evidence, using the world's largest collection of information about bariatric surgery, to support that it is a safe and valuable treatment option for patients who suffer from morbid obesity," said lead study author Dr. Eric J. DeMaria, vice chair of the department of surgery at Duke.

Morbid obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI, a ratio of weight to height) over 40, or a BMI of 35 to 40 plus an obesity-related disease such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease or sleep apnea, according to criteria set by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Two other studies also to be presented Wednesday found that weight-loss surgery can lead to the long-term remission of diabetes.

Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University examined 177 morbidly obese patients with type 2 diabetes who underwent gastric bypass surgery, the most common weight-loss procedure, between 1993 and 2003.

Nearly 90 percent of the patients experienced a r
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