Bariatric surgery, a procedure designed to help patients lose weight, can help diabetic patients get rid of the condition, according to a study.
Christopher Still, D.O., director of the Geisinger Center for Nutrition and Weight Management, found that the procedure is most effective against type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Still said: "Diabetic patients who undergo bariatric surgery are often cured of diabetes following the procedure. This is an incredible development for patients, as diabetes is often a very challenging condition to manage."
The expert continued: "Many non-surgical treatments for diabetes can be ineffective, expensive and can be difficult for patients to maintain.
"Bariatric surgery can completely resolve diabetes in one procedure, and sometimes it may be cheaper for a patient to undergo surgery instead of having to purchase medications continually over a number of years."
A 2004 study by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that diabetes was completely resolved for over 76 percent of the 22,000 surveyed patients, and 86 percent of patients saw improvement in their diabetes.
In an Annals of Surgery study, 83 percent of diabetic patients were cured after undergoing gastric bypass surgery, the primary bariatric procedure used at Geisinger Medical Center.
Dr. Still further warned patients against taking their new body weight for granted following surgery.
He added: "Approximately 90 percent of patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are obese, and obese people are nearly twice as likely to develop diabetes when compared to someone who is not obese," Dr. Still said. "As a result, patients who fail to maintain their new body weight after bariatric surgery run the risk of re-developing their diabetes."