For the past 7 years, the Cleveland Clinic has chosen 10 medical innovations that they feel will change the medical landscape in the coming year. Over 110 experts make their nominations which are then examined by a committee that will chooses the winners. As you can imagine, the selection process is stringent. So what medical innovation received the top spot in this year’s voting? Bariatric surgery for diabetes control took home top honors!*
Although it has been known for years that bariatric surgery can resolve diabetes and result in significantly reduced medication requirements, recent research has been able to directly compare the incredible success of weight loss surgery against intensive medical therapies. A head-to-head comparison that unequivocally confirms the superiority of weight loss surgery over medical management in the diabetic patient is the missing link that bariatric surgeons have been awaiting.
It is probably no coincidence that one of the recent ground-breaking research manuscripts originated in the Cleveland Clinic itself. Dr. Philip Schauer published his work in the New England Journal of Medicine documenting his success. If you would like to read more about this research, follow this link.
This vote of confidence is incredibly gratifying to those of us in this field. Hopefully, this will cause more physicians to consider the viability of weight loss surgery and more diabetics to insist on surgical treatment. Of all the patients that enter my office, the diabetics are the ones I get the most excited about. We have an opportunity to improve their immediate and long-term health. The results can be swift and dramatic. Oftentimes, normal blood sugars can be obtained in the hospital immediately after surgery!
If you are suffering from diabetes, you owe it to yourself to talk with a bariatric surgeon about your options. It could be life changing.
* These were the Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2013 as decided by the Cleveland Clinic:
1. Bariatric surgery for diabetes control
2. Neuromodulation therapy
3. Mass spectrometry for rapid bacterial identification
4. A handheld imaging device
5. Five new cancer drugs
6. Femtosecond laser cataract surgery
7. A lung washing system
8. A new aneurysm technology
9. Breast tomosynthesis
10. The Medicare Better Health Rewards Program Act of 2012