At Weill Cornell Medicine, our treatment of Type 2 diabetes extends to surgical methods. These procedures are especially helpful for those who are unable to keep their blood sugar under control despite medication, dietary changes and lifestyle modifications.
Unlike bariatric surgery, metabolic surgery focuses on controlling metabolic illnesses, not just excess weight. Metabolic surgery includes surgery for diabetes and surgery for obesity and metabolic syndrome. It may also include surgery for weight reduction when it presents a significant burden on a patient’s quality of life.
Weill Cornell Medicine is a leader in the field, pioneering the treatments that have helped patients lose weight and control their Type 2 diabetes safely and effectively.
About Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder that occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin and/or cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. This condition is referred to as "insulin resistance."
Left untreated, this resistance leads to raised blood glucose, or sugar, levels, which can adversely affect various organs and tissues, including the heart, kidneys and eyes.
Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease, characterized by the continuing deterioration of insulin production over time. This leads to increasing need for medication, while persistent or worsening glycemic control may increase the risk of developing diabetes complications, such as heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure, eye disease and blindness.
Type 2 diabetes is also associated with various cardio-metabolic disorders such as:
• High blood pressure
• Increased blood cholesterol and triglycerides (dyslipidemia)
Although the exact underlying causes of type 2 diabetes are not yet fully understood, a number of risk factors have been identified, including obesity, diet, lack of physical activity, increasing age, insulin resistance, family history of diabetes and ethnicity.
Benefits of Metabolic and Diabetes Surgery
In individuals with severe obesity, surgery can:
• Induce a "remission" of diabetes, in which blood sugar levels return to normal without medication
• Or cause a significant "improvement" in blood glucose, meaning that blood sugar levels are more controlled with less medication
In addition to controlling diabetes and assisting weight loss, metabolic surgery can help patients:
• Improve metabolic disorders such as hyperlipidemia, hypertension and sleep apnea
• Reduce the incidence of cancer
• Increase long-term survival
Our Approach to Metabolic and Diabetes Surgery
Many patients turn to metabolic surgery — also known as diabetes surgery — when medication, a healthier diet, and lifestyle changes fail to keep their diabetes under control.
At Weill Cornell Medicine, individuals interested in surgery meet directly with surgeons to discuss their health goals and to learn more about available procedures.
Patients also have access to a support group, where they can connect with others who have or are about to undergo surgery. Registered dietitians on staff can also help patients make the dietary choices that are right for them.
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