Bariatric surgery for obesity and diabetes

Fereidoun Azizi
Archives of Iranian Medicine 2013, 16 (3): 182-6
With the imminent threat of a global health crisis of obesity and diabetes or "diabesity" as it is referred to today, healthcare professionals urgently need an effective range of treatment options for management of these two epidemics. After many decades in obscurity, bariatric surgery has emerged as an impressive treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes. The field of bariatric surgery has seen a rapid evolution over the last 30 years and current procedures are safe, effective, less invasive, and relatively cost- effective. Bariatric procedures produce durable weight loss, long -term remission of type 2 diabetes, and beneficial effects on other comorbidities; they lead to a significant reduction in mortality in the long term. The adverse events after surgery are not uncommon but in majority of cases are not fatal. Bariatric surgery is costly, but cost-efficacy analysis consistently shows that the additional years of lives gained through bariatric surgery can be obtained at a reasonable and affordable cost. However, universal surgical treatment of obesity is not achievable with the world's current healthcare and surgical resources. The conclusion of this review is that although bariatric surgery is a good addition to management of obesity and diabetes, these epidemics must be addressed by more comprehensive and long-term health policy efforts and appropriate research to determine the most effective ways of prevention and nonsurgical alternatives to treat obesity and type 2 diabetes.

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