New clinical trials are underway at the NewYork Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in the US, to examine the benefits of gastric bypass surgery as compared to conventional treatments and changes to lifestyle in the mildly obese and in non-obese patients.
The research, the first of its kind for patients who are overweight or mildly obese, hopes to determine if such surgery can control type 2 diabetes, and whether it is better than other medical treatments available. Gastric bypass (or bariatric) surgery is currently only given to those who have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or greater, defining them as having severe or morbid obesity . However, this study is for patients with a BMI as low as 26.
Francesco Rubino, chief of the gastrointestinal metabolic surgery program at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and associate professor of surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College, commented “There is preliminary evidence suggesting that that these results are attainable even in overweight or mildly obese patients.”
He added “We need rigorous, comparative clinical trials, like this one, in order to better understand when to prioritize surgery and when to recommend traditional medical treatment.”
Previous studies have found bariatric surgery to be an effective treatment for obese patients with type 2 diabetes, and to improve or normalise levels of blood glucose, bring down the need for medication, and reduce the risk for diabetes-related death.

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