Consumer Health Features

Bariatric Gastric Bypass surgery a savior for the obese diabetic, one doctor speaks out

By April Neale Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 GMT

Bariatric Gastric Bypass surgery a savior for the obese diabetic, one doctor speaks out

This past year, reporter Stuart Pfiefer of the Los Angeles Times covered the 1-800 Get Thin debacle that played out dramatically in the media.

This past year, reporter Stuart Pfiefer of the Los Angeles Times extensively covered the 1-800 Get Thin debacle that played out dramatically in the media.

The outcome of shoddy marketing and sub-standard work by some allegedly inept surgeons resulted in death for some patients.

Michael Omidi and his brother Julian reportedly used widespread advertising of the 1-800-GET-THIN telephone number to attract patients for Lap-Band weight-loss surgery at clinics they owned and operated, former patients have alleged in lawsuits.

Five patients unfortunately died after having Lap-Band surgeries at clinics affiliated with the 1-800-GET-THIN ad campaign from 2009 to 2011 (one that even hired Dr. Drew Pinsky to promote their radio adverts) according to lawsuits, autopsy reports and other public records. The Los Angeles Times extensively chronicled this unfolding of events.

Bariatric surgery's reputation took a hit, but any surgery is only as good as the professional doctor you find to perform it.  In this complex world of weight loss surgery, there are the good guys along with the dangerous quick buck artists.

And, there are different types of bariatric procedures that each have their own results, but none as dramatic and life-changing as a Laparoscopic Roux-enY Gastric Bypass. The operation - and doctors are not 100% sure why - reverses adult onset (Type-2) Diabetes.

The two studies, released 2012 in the New England Journal of Medicine are the first to compare stomach-reducing operations to medicines alone for "diabesity" - Type 2 diabetes caused by obesity.

Dr. Eraj Basseri of the prestigious Khalili Center in Beverly Hills tells Monsters and Critics, "Millions of Americans have diabetes and obesity issues, and they can't make enough insulin to process sugar from what they eat. But there are amazing results that come from Bypass surgery."

Both NEJM studies found that surgery helped far more patients achieve normal blood-sugar levels than medicines alone did. Some were able to stop taking insulin as soon as three days after their surgeries. Cholesterol and other heart risk factors also markedly improved.

But Dr. Basseri conceded that the 1-800-GET-THIN scandal has frightened a lot of patients who would benefit from their expertise. "Bariatric surgery is the only known cure for diabetes, he says. "Results are instantaneous. In many case, the patient is cured of his diabetes and no longer has to take medication with 24 hours following surgery."


Dr. Basseri says, "According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF), Diabetes and obesity are the biggest public health challenge of the 21st century." He adds, "Currently, over 25 million Americans are afflicted with this horrible disease. Of those diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, over 80 percent are also obese."

There's plenty of hope for the sick, overweight person to reverse their disease. "Over the last decade there has been tremendous research in the bariatric community showing how gastric bypass surgery can cure or significantly improve diabetes," says Dr. Basseri. "I have seen thousands of patients reduce or get rid of their diabetes medications and live with normal blood sugars and normal HgA1c’s."

The payoff for the doctors at the Khalili center is a deep satisfaction they have altered and improved someone's life in such a positive and immediate way.

Dr. Basseri says, "It’s amazing when patients no longer have to poke themselves with a needle several times a day to check their sugars, or give themselves insulin shots. This is a tremendous burden on patients’ quality of life, and I’ve seen so many come to tears when they no longer are considered diabetic. I remember a doctor, actually an endocrinologist (diabetes specialist), we recently operated on. He did his homework and became aware of the tremendous research showing how gastric bypass can cure diabetes. He said ‘I’m not going to let diabetes kill me, because I know it will. I am going to kill diabetes.” This physician is over 3 years out from his surgery. He no longer takes any meds. His heart and kidney function have improved. He couldn’t be happier. He recommends gastric bypass to any patient he sees who is overweight and has diabetes."


Further Reading on M&C


comments powered by Disqus

Latest Headlines on M&C

Follow Us

Follow M&C on Pinterest


Custom Search


Latest on M&C