New Study Says Gastric Banding Technique Helps Diabetics - 8 News NOW

New Study Says Gastric Banding Technique Helps Diabetics

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Obesity surgery has been shown to cure diabetes. And a new study indicates that even a less invasive form of the surgery can make a difference. In this week's Dealing with Diabetes report, a local surgeon explains how the procedure helps.

Before Thomas Davis had weight loss surgery, he was just shy of 300 pounds. That was four months ago, and he's already lost over 50 pounds.

Davis' biggest fear from being morbidly obese was developing diabetes. As a respiratory therapist at North Vista Hospital, he's seen first-hand the damage that diabetes can cause.

"I actually work here in the Wound Care Center also. I see a lot of diabetic patients in there and what happens if it goes out of control. It's just something you don't want to go through," said Davis.

Las Vegas bariatric surgeon, James Atkinson says it's been shown that obese patients with type-2 diabetes and those on the verge of developing the disease, are able to cure their condition through significant and sustained weight loss.

"As we gain weight, the cells become resistant to insulin, which is responsible for glucose or sugar control. So when those cells don't respond to insulin, that's what leads to diabetes. When the weight comes off, the cells become responsive to the insulin again, so things go back to normal," said Dr. Atkinson.

A new study, though a small one, found that patients who had surgery to reduce the size of their stomach were five times more likely to see their diabetes disappear over the next two years than were patients who had standard diabetes care.

But to Dr. Atkinson, the most meaningful part of the study was that they used an adjustable gastric banding technique, as opposed to a more extreme procedure.

"We've had bypass in American for many years. But the band is a more recent, newer operation but much less invasive -- much safer operation. So it opens the door to more people to have the operation to prevent or get rid of the diabetes," said Dr. Atkinson.

In many cases, insurance helps pay for stomach-band-surgery. Otherwise in can cost as much $20,000. Stomach stapling costs even more.

For more details about the new study, click here.

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