Bariatric Surgery versus Conventional Medical Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes

Mingrone G, Panunzi S, De Gaetano A, Guidone C, Iaconelli A, Leccesi L, Nanni G, Pomp A, Castagneto M, Ghirlanda G, Rubino F. N Engl J Med. 2012 Mar 26. [Epub ahead of print]

Background Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and biliopancreatic diversion can markedly ameliorate diabetes in morbidly obese patients, often resulting in disease remission. Prospective, randomized trials comparing these procedures with medical therapy for the treatment of diabetes are needed. Methods In this single-center, nonblinded, randomized, controlled trial, 60 patients between the ages of 30 and 60 years with a body-mass index (BMI, the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters) of 35 or more, a history of at least 5 years of diabetes, and a glycated hemoglobin level of 7.0% or more were randomly assigned to receive conventional medical therapy or undergo either gastric bypass or biliopancreatic diversion. The primary end point was the rate of diabetes remission at 2 years (defined as a fasting glucose level of

Comment-While the side effects of bariatric surgery are not insignificant (see chapter 20 in OBESITEXT) the dramatic results of this randomized trial are sure to send many more patients to surgery.