Obesity surgery can control blood sugar in diabetic patients

Pune-based surgeon Dr Shashank Shah wins award for his path-breaking study

Gastric Bypass SurgeryObesity surgery is no more restricted to weight loss. A study presented by a Pune-based bariatric surgeon at the recent American Diabetes Association conference showed that obesity surgery can control blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. The doctor also won an award for the clinical research.

Dr Shashank Shah, who conducted the study, said a total of 80 Type II diabetes patients were selected who were on medications or were taking insulin. “Out of the 80, 40 underwent obesity and the rest continued with medication/insulin,” said Shah. The patients were followed up for five years from 2010-15.

The study shows that after two years of surgery there were patients off the medication and insulin, but still 30% patient need lighter dose of medication who take earlier five to six tablets for controlled the sugar.

“Now, all 40 patients who underwent surgery have maintained their blood sugar level. Other 40 people who were on medication are still on medication were the sugar level goes ups and down,” said Shah.

Two endocrinologists from Pune – Dr Jayshree Todkar and Dr Uday Phadke – and Dr David Cummings from the University of Washington were also part of the study.

“Our study proves that surgery works in chronic diabetes patients. It improves the quality of life,” said Todkar.

Dr Shah is president of the All India Association for Advancing Research in Obesity (AIAARO) and has worked in the area of bariatric surgery more than 15 years.

“In 2009, we conducted a pilot study where around 15 type II diabetes patients underwent the gastric bypass surgery.  The results of this pilot study inspired us to do it in a larger scale. Our pilot study was published in Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases (SOARD) journal,” said Shah.

In 2015, there were 69.1 million cases of diabetes, and this figure is likely to go up to 80 million by 2025.  “Bariatric surgery is increasingly becoming popular, with patients opting for the procedure not just for weight loss. Often labelled as a bariatric procedure, which is done to lose weight, metabolic surgery is in fact a far broader concept that aims to reset organ systems within the body. Small intestine has as many as 10-15 hormones that plays vital role within abdomen to bring about diabetic control,” said Dr Bhandarwar.

According to the International Federation for Surgery of Obesity & Metabolic Disorder, around 14,000 people undergo weight loss surgery in India every year. Obesity can invite as many as 53 diseases including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers, are some of the leading causes of preventable death.