Bariatric Surgery Effective For Both Weight Loss and Diabetes Remission

Anita P. Courcoulas M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.S Professor of Surgery Director, Minimally Invasive Bariatric & General Surgery University of Pittsburgh Medical Center MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 
Anita P. Courcoulas M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.S
Professor of Surgery
Director, Minimally Invasive Bariatric & General Surgery
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Courcoulas: This paper was not a study but a summary of findings from a multidisciplinary workshop (and not a consensus panel) convened in May 2013 by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The goal of the workshop was to summarize the current state of knowledge of bariatric surgery, review research findings on the long-term outcomes of bariatric surgery, and establish priorities for future research.

Medical Research: What was most surprising about the results?

Dr. Courcoulas: Much has changed in the field of bariatric surgery research over the last 10 years with much new high quality data being published including the findings that bariatric surgical procedures result in greater weight loss than nonsurgical treatments and are more effective at inducing the remission of type 2 diabetes over at least the first several years.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Courcoulas: There exists more and more high-quality evidence about bariatric surgical procedures. At this time it is clear that these procedures effect greater weight loss than nonsurgical approaches and induce initial remission of type 2 diabetes.  Over the next several years more work will be done to examine the longer-term durability and impact of these procedures on health.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Courcoulas: More studies are needed to address some of the gaps in knowledge about the long-term outcomes following bariatric surgery including; predictors of the response to surgery, mental health outcomes, long-term complications, and cost.

Citation:

Courcoulas AP, Yanovski SZ, Bonds D, et al. Long-term Outcomes of Bariatric Surgery: A National Institutes of Health Symposium. JAMA Surg. Published online October 01, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2014.2440.

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