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type 2 diabetes becomes an operable disease

A Joint Statement by leading diabetes organizations including the American Diabetes Association (ADA), Diabetes UK, International Diabetes Federation (IDF), Chinese Diabetes Society and Diabetes India and endorsed by 45 worldwide scientific societies, formally recognize surgery as a standard treatment option for type 2 diabetes.

This development may be one of the biggest and most significant changes in diabetes care since the introduction of insulin in 1920s.

Obesity guidelines have recommended for years bariatric surgery for people with severe obesity including many with associated diabetes. It is the first time, however, that diabetes guidelines recommend surgery as a treatment option for the management of the disease itself.

Appearing on May 24, 2016 in Diabetes Care, a journal of the American Diabetes Association, the new guidelines recommend that surgery be considered a standard option for appropriate candidates with type 2 diabetes, including in mildly obese people, and they call for health care regulators to introduce appropriate reimbursement policies.

A paired commentary in the journal Nature by Prof. Francesco Rubino analyses the steps that have led to this historical conclusion, the clinical and biological evidence supporting the use of surgery in diabetes and how this development may actually bolster hopes of finding a cure.

Journalists came along to the SMC to discuss:

  • What patients should be considered for surgery?
  • What is the evidence supporting surgery as a treatment of diabetes?
  • What expedited, and what has delayed, the recognition of surgery as a treatment option for diabetes
  • Is a surgical treatment for diabetes financially affordable for health care systems?
  • The biological evidence that shows how the gut is an ideal target for anti-diabetes interventions
  • How lessons learned from surgery may change the way we look at diabetes and lead to novel approaches to prevent and treat the disease

Roundup comments accompanied this briefing



Professor Francesco Rubino: Chair, Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, King’s College London and Consultant Surgeon, King’s College Hospital

Professor Sir K. George Alberti, co-author of the guidelines report and representing Diabetes UK

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