In order to undergo gastric bypass surgery, you must have a BMI of at least 35. If you have type 2 diabetes and would like to undergo the surgery to alleviate your diabetes symptoms, you are out of luck unless you are also morbidly obese. A few less weighty type 2 patients have taken matters into their own hands by deliberately gaining enough weight to qualify, but now there is a less drastic way to qualify for the operation.
A new clinical trial at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center is recruiting 50 type 2 patients with BMIs as low as 26 to undergo gastric bypass, with the intention of learning whether the surgery can control diabetes as well or better than other medical treatments. The patients will be randomized to receive either gastric bypass or traditional medical therapy and intensive lifestyle modification.
According to Dr.Francesco Rubino, chief of the gastrointestinal metabolic surgery program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and associate professor of surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College, the gastrointestinal tract serves as an endocrine organ and contributes to the regulation of insulin secretion, body weight, and appetite. Altering the GI tract has metabolic effects that can lead to the resolution of diabetes symptoms.
To determine how gastric bypass exerts its effects on diabetes, Dr. Rubino and his team plan to measure gut hormone responses to meal stimulation when an equivalent weight loss has been achieved by both the surgically treated and the conventionally treated patients. They hope to find out if there are endocrine effects specific to gastric bypass that are not associated with non-surgical weight loss.
Patients with type 2 diabetes who are interested in participating in the clinical trial may contact the Diabetes Surgery Center at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell at (212) 746-5925 or firstname.lastname@example.org.