A new clinical trial at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center is among the first to test surgery specifically for type 2 diabetes. The aim of the study is to understand whether surgery can control diabetes, as well or even better than the best medical treatment available today. This is the first study of its kind open to patients who are overweight or mildly obese.
Previous research has shown that in severely obese patients (BMI greater than 35) gastric bypass surgery is a safe and effective way to treat type 2 diabetes. It has been shown to improve or normalize blood glucose levels, reduce or even eliminate the need for medication, and lower the risk for diabetes-related death.
Currently, bariatric surgery is only used for the treatment of severe or morbid obesity, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or greater. By contrast, the new study is open to patients with a BMI as low as 26. Normal-weight individuals have BMI ranging between 19 and 25 and overweight individuals have BMI between 26 and 29, whereas a BMI above 30 defines obesity. Patients with a BMI below 26 and above 35 will not be considered for enrollment in the trial.
The new study is enrolling 50 patients with type 2 diabetes who will be randomized to receive surgery — specifically, Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass — or traditional medical therapy and intensive lifestyle modification. All patients will be counseled in lifestyle modification techniques like diet and exercise.