According to recent research on theeffects of laparoscopic gastric banding,the weight loss achieved by the procedurecan help prevent type 2 diabetes inobese patients as well as reduce the riskof high blood pressure. A follow-up studycompared 73 severely obese patientswho underwent the minimally invasiveprocedure and 49 similar patients whohad refused the surgery. Four years afterthe gastric banding, the surgery groupreduced body mass index (BMI) from45.9 to 37.7; the nonsurgery groupshowed no significant changes in BMI. Inthe prevention aspect of the study, 5participants in the nonsurgery groupdeveloped type 2 diabetes during followup,whereas none of those in the surgerygroup developed diabetes. In the remissionportion of the study, 1 nonsurgerypatient became diabetes-free, comparedwith 7 patients in the surgerygroup. One patient in the surgery groupdeveloped high blood pressure, comparedwith 11 patients in the nonsurgerygroup. Furthermore, 15 patients in thesurgery group experienced resolution oftheir high blood pressure by the 4-yearfollow-up. Study authors concluded,"These data suggest that laparoscopicgastric banding is effective in preventingand promoting the remission of establishedtype 2 diabetes and high bloodpressure."
Ms. Farley is a freelance medicalwriter based in Wakefield, RI.