Gastric band surgery can improve diabetes symptoms, study shows

14th April 2011

Gastric balloon or gastric band surgery for obese people can reduce the symptoms of type two diabetes, according to a study by the National Bariatric Surgery Registry (NBSC).

Fifty per cent of obese people with type 2 diabetes noted vast improvements in their symptoms following surgery which saw them lose, on average, about 60 per cent of their excess body fat.

Improvements were also seen in a wealth of other health issues, including blood pressure, prompting the study authors to suggest that gastric band surgery offers real value for the NHS and wider society as obesity-related problems no longer need treating.

Alberic Fiennes, chairman of the NBSC data committee, said the treatment should become more widely available on the NHS, as preventative obesity measures are no longer working.

He told the BBC: "Prevention strategy alone has proved ineffective; there are at least two generations of morbidly obese patients who are now presenting with diabetes, stroke, heart disease and cancer for whom preventative measures are utterly irrelevant."

Diabetes UK warned that the surgery should still be used as a last resort if all other weight-loss methods of diet and exercise had been attempted.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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