SALT LAKE, UT (ABC4UTAH) –Gastric bypass not only helps with long term weight loss but it can be life saving.
A new study shows it can prevent diabetes along with other life threatening ailments.
The study was co-authored by doctors at St. Mark’s Hospital in Salt Lake City.
Researchers followed patients for 12 years after surgery. The study found that in half of their patients the surgery cured their type 2 diabetes and even prevented those at high risk from ever getting the condition in the first place.
39-year-old Amanda Hughes was considered morbidly obese. She was pre-diabetic, weighed in at 320 pounds with a body mass index of 50.
“even tying my shoes was hard.”
Nearly 4 years ago, she had gastric bypass surgery. Amanda was not part of the 12 year study but she’s had the same positive healthy and better quality of life results, post surgery.
“My life has completely changed after surgery. I have my life back. I was a spectator in life. My husband and son would go bike riding and now I go riding bikes with them.”
Dr. Rod McKinlay, a bariatic surgeon at St. Marks Hospital in Salt Lake is a co-author of this extensive study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
“it was really quite remarkable. The results of type 2 diabetes treatment meaning those who were type 2 diabetic before the surgery, 51% still were non-diabetic with no medication required with normal blood sugar 12 years after the operation.”
Patients with very high risk of getting diabetes were 92 percent less likely of getting diabetes because of the surgery.
Amanda, “I don’t take medication and I don’t need a knee replacement.”
And for Amanda it erased 17 years of infertility. She got pregnant the month doctors gave the okay.
“the insulin resistance I had was affecting my hormones and affecting my ability to get pregnant.”
Gastric bypass is not for everyone. Most insurance require a BMI of 35 or about 70 pounds overweight depending on your height.
Amanda, “It’s not just a surgery that does the work for you, you have to put in the lifestyle change too and making that commitment is scary but I wouldn’t change it for the world because it’s given my life, family and more time with them.”
Amanda lost 180 pounds and eats healthy and exercises. Dr. McKinlay can see one day that this invasive surgery could be more common in treating type 2 diabetes.
The study included research from the University of Utah Hospital and Intermountain Medical Center.
St. Mark’s Hospital is Utah’s only bariatric surgery program accredited to treat both adults and adolescents.