THIS is why bariatric surgery shouldn’t be taboo!

Bariatric surgery improves/reverses diabetes! Yep, that’s the headline to the press release. Thats the study that has been done and the findings have shown definitive numbers favoring bariatric surgery as a treatment for overweight people who have type 2 diabetes.  Some people have even gone into remission!

Yes, I’ll share the study with you, but not before I chime in here…

I understand why some people prefer to keep their decision to have WLS secret. I know that SO MANY people think that it is “the easy way out” or that it is just simply lazy. I know that dealing with ignorant people is INFURIATING! And, in understanding that emotion, I DO understand your desires to keep your surgery to yourself. HOWEVER…. If we don’t raise our voices and educate the ignorant people about just how much of a journey WLS is, then the taboo label will never go away. And that just doesn’t sit well with me.

Clearly, I am not one of the secretive ones. I tell people quite openly at times (when the situation calls for it) that I have had weight loss surgery. I have had people say to me “Oh, well that’s still okay.” “Not everybody is cut out for the gym.” (<—-seriously!!!) and “Really? Did your family know?” (Nope, they thought I went on a vacation for a day, in a hospital, with an IV and sutures in my gut???) Each time I have smiled (with effort) and explained to the people that weight loss surgery isn’t an easy process, and it certainly is not a walk in the park. Lets face it folks, we deserve every stinking accolade that we get, for every damn ounce we lose… because look at where we started and look at where we are NOW! My life speaks for itself.

My point is this….  Weight loss surgery has its risks. The life after weight loss surgery is not magical, its real. You have to still work to be healthy. You still have to invest some time and some pride in yourself.  While you won’t be obese, you will have loose skin. You will face the possibility of other surgeries because of that. There is no magical moment. But there is this….. With out weight loss surgery, you will struggle more, and fight harder to get healthy. No, not everybody should have weight loss surgery, BUT… if it can save a life? BY ALL MEANS do your homework!

With no further Ado…. here is the press release :

https://weightloss.clevelandclinic.org/images/file/STAMPEDE/STAMPEDE_Press_Release.pdf

Overweight, diabetic patients who underwent bariatric surgery achieved significant improvement or remission of their diabetes, according to new research from Cleveland Clinic.
In a randomized, controlled trial, some weight loss surgery patients achieved normal blood sugar levels without use of any diabetes medications. In others, the need for insulin to control blood sugar was eliminated. Recent observational studies had demonstrated that bariatric surgical procedures reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes and lead to substantial improvement for many patients with pre-existing disease.
“After one year, patients who underwent gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy lost more weight and were significantly more successful at controlling their diabetes, compared to those who simply took medications,” said lead investigator Philip Schauer, M.D., Director of the Cleveland Clinic Bariatric and Metabolic Institute. “We believe that bariatric surgery represents a potentially valuable strategy for control of diabetes that should be considered in more patients who do not respond to conventional treatment.”
Results of the STAMPEDE (Surgical Therapy And Medications Potentially Eradicate Diabetes Efficiently) trial were published today in The New England Journal of Medicine and presented today at the Annual Scientific Sessions of the American College of Cardiology in Chicago.
The STAMPEDE trial involved 150 patients with obesity and poorly controlled diabetes. The patients were divided into three groups of 50: those who received intensive medical therapy of their diabetes, those who received intensive medical therapy plus gastric bypass surgery, and those who received intensive medical therapy plus sleeve gastrectomy.
“This trial demonstrates that bariatric surgery can eliminate the need for diabetes medications in many obese patients whose diabetes is poorly controlled,” Schauer said. “Furthermore, the surgical patients showed major improvements in other measures of heart health, including reduced need for high blood pressure and cholesterol medications, while significantly boosting HDL – the so-called ‘good’ – cholesterol.”
Effectiveness was gauged by the percentage of patients who achieved an average blood sugar within the normal range 12 months after treatment (measured using the hemoglobin A1c – HbA1c – a standard laboratory test that reflects average blood sugar over three months).
After 12 months, a normal HbA1c (less than 6.0) was achieved in 42.6 percent of patients who underwent gastric bypass and 36.7 percent of patients who underwent sleeve surgery, but just 12.2 percent of medically treated patients. The HbA1c of less than six is a more aggressive target than the American Diabetes Association guidelines.
Participants entered the study taking an average of three medications each for diabetes. In all of the gastric bypass patients who achieved the target level, the normal blood sugar was attained without use of any diabetic medications. Seventy-two percent of sleeve patients who reached normal blood sugar also did so without the use of any diabetic medications. In surgically-treated patients who continued to require drugs, researchers observed a substantial reduction in the need for diabetic medications.
As expected, the patients who received bariatric surgery lost more weight during the 12-month study, averaging 64.7 pounds for patients who received gastric bypass, 55.2 pounds for patients who had stomach reduction surgery, and 11.9 pounds for patients treated with medications.
The study authors reported some complications of surgery, but most were not serious. However, four patients did require a second operation. The study authors caution that the favorable results were observed after a relatively short follow-up period (12 months) and that long-term studies are needed to determine the durability of the findings. The authors will continue to follow these patients for four years to attempt to answer these questions.
More information on the clinical trial can be found at clevelandclinic.org/stampede.
This study was funded by Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, which is a company that designs and manufactures medical devices and surgical instruments.

3 Comments

  1. tz
    Mar 27, 2012

    I saw this on the Today show, it was really interesting….I haven’t yet decided how public I’m going to be, I’ve recently had a set back in that area, but I’m working on girding my loins :D
    tz recently posted..two more things off my surgery to-do listMy Profile

  2. Shelley K.
    Mar 28, 2012

    I made a few replies to the ignorant people on Yahoo. The basic was: “Oh, I did it the HAAAAAARD way with diet and exercise.”

    Well good for freaking you. I don’t watch my diet or exercise at all and the pounds just melt off.

    NOT!!!

    Also: “Well gee, if these people would just quit stuffing their pie-hole and hit the gym they could beat the diabetes.:

    Hey Poindexter, RTFA! It says that none of the non-surgical people beat the disease; not one.

    I was more polite than that, but it was hard. I should also note that on the Sleeve Talk board, most will not tell people. They have panic attacks when invited out to restaurants where family, friends and co-workers can see how little they eat. They try to make up stories: “Well I have a virus.” “Oh gee, thanks for dining with us and spreading pathogens.”

    Just tell the truth and educate people.

  3. Kristi
    Dec 10, 2012

    Apologies for the following lengthy comment……but this kind of thing just gets me going!

    I will be open about my second WLS, although very selective as to whom I disclose to. I can already tell you that there are some people who will NOT be told unless it’s over my dead body, and only because of their reaction the first time (I under went lapband the first time). When, after 4 years, I wasn’t able to make the band work, I had to listen to countless “I told you so”, and “what a waste of money and time……why don’t you just get rid of that thing and come to Weight Watchers with me?” by a rather large number of people.

    I still can’t rationalize that last one….because I’ve been to WW so many time in the last 32 years that I have been a member of every new program they’ve thrown out…..some more than once….. am still fat! In fact fatter than ever. Why on earth would I bother going back yet again? I can’t make WW work any more than I could the lap band (not the surgery I requested, but the one I was talked into).

    When people scold over “taking the easy way out” with WLS, they’re right, it IS the easy way out…but not quite the same “easy way out” as they mean. They think that you go in get a silicon band put in or have your guts re-routed and voila! the fat just melts off you like butter melts off a knife if you hold it near heat. WRONG. Wrong wrong wrong WRONG!!! WLS takes just as much hard work, self control and discipline as any diet or weight loss program – the surgery is only a tool to ASSIST in the effort. It doesnt do anything FOR you (the exception is malsorptive procedures, and even those can be sabotaged very easily). I’ll be honest and say that even though I wasn’t able to use them band to my benefit, I have never put in as many hard yards as I did the first 2 years I had the band. And I still only lost a fraction of my excess weight, roughly the same as with any other means I tried. I believe I actually wasn’t getting enough to eat. I didn’t experience anything with the band like I was told I would. I never felt full, I never had restriction….. Nomatter what I ingested, no matter how thoroughy I chewed, no matter how closely I followed the rules my surgeon layer out, everything just got stuck (painful!), even liquids! Adjustments up and down had no effect. I just learned to eat around the “stuckage” – well, I mean, I was HUNGRY! And constantly dehydrated…….most of my minimal weight loss was due to dehydration.

    No, the easy way out I refer to is that it’s easier to undergo WLS than it is to keep dieting and failing or, God forbid, actually trying to live a happy life as a fat person in a society that values looks based on unrealistic and largely unattainable standards (thank you Photoshop and retouching for narrowing margins that were already too ‘slim’ to begin with…..play on words intended).

    However, all of this falls on deaf ears, because some people will not be educated despite a persons best efforts, because they are only willing to understand what agrees with their preconceived notions. You can only educate someone who wants to learn.

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