Weight loss surgery or metabolic surgery done in the morbidly obese helps prevent the development of microvascular complications when compared with medical treatment.
Microvascular complications, which affect small blood vessels include diabetic nephropathy, neuropathy, and retinopathy, which affect the kidneys, nerves, and eyes, respectively. These diabetes-related complications are responsible for the high healthcare costs of type 2 diabetes and the leading causes of dialysis, amputations, and blindness in the Western world.
Reducing the Risk of Complications
- The risk of developing microvascular diabetic complications was 4-fold reduced in patients with type 2 diabetes undergoing surgery compared with patients with current guideline-based medical therapy.
- Pre-existing diabetic nephropathy was strongly improved by surgery compared with medical treatment.
- The likelihood of improvement or remission in patients with diabetes-related kidney damage was 15-times higher after surgery compared with current medical therapy.
"Such strong and reliable effects, especially on very difficult-to-treat diabetic kidney damage, are not even remotely possible with the current medical therapy," added senior author Prof. Beat Muller-Stich, also of the University of Heidelberg.