Since the 2007 Diabetes Surgery Summit in Rome, Italy, and the subsequent publishing of the world's first guidelines for the surgical treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2D), much new evidence regarding the efficacy and safety of metabolic surgery has emerged. Additional observational cohort studies support the superior effects of surgery over medical treatment with respect to glycemic control, weight loss, and even reduction in mortality and microvascular complications associated with T2D. Furthermore, new safety data suggest that the perioperative morbidity and mortality of metabolic surgery (5% and 0.3%, respectively) are now similar to that of common low-risk procedures, such as cholecystectomy and hysterectomy. The largest advance, however, has been the completion of 11 randomized controlled trials from around the globe that compare surgery with medical treatment of T2D. These studies with follow-up duration of 1-5 years involve nearly 800 patients without surgical mortality and with major complication rates of less than 5% and a reoperation rate of 8%. All but 1 of the 11 randomized controlled trials have shown the superiority of surgery over medical management at achieving remission or glycemic improvement. Surgery was also superior to medical treatment with respect to improving cardiovascular risk factors, such as weight loss and dyslipidemia, while reducing medication burden. This new efficacy and safety evidence should help guide physicians across the globe to the appropriate use of surgery as an effective treatment for patients suffering from T2D and obesity.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
P.R.S. receives grants from NIH, Ethicon, Medtronic, and Pacira; receives consulting fees from Ethicon, The Medicines Company, and SurgiQuest; and holds stock from SurgiQuest. No other potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.
© 2016 by the American Diabetes Association.