Medical Moment: Impacts of bariatric surgery


Every year in the U.S, 1.5 million people over the age of 18 are diagnosed with type two diabetes, which is sometimes managed with insulin.

Now, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic are studying the impact of weight loss surgery on people with type 2 diabetes.

Father George Treff has been an ordained priest in the Romanian Orthodox Church since 1979.

“I just knew that the path I was going on was not a good one, and the outcome was not going to be good,” Father George says.

Father George isn’t talking about his faith, but his weight. At his heaviest, Father George weighed 240 pounds and was diagnosed with type two diabetes.

“Even if I was in the gym every day at three hours a day and doing all that I’m supposed to, nothing was changing,” he says.

That’s when his doctor recommended bariatric surgery. Cleveland Clinic Researcher Doctor Ali Aminian was a co-investigator of the stampede trial, a randomized trial of 150 patients comparing bariatric surgery with medical therapy for the treatment of type two diabetes.

“We showed that both surgical procedures, gastric bypass, and sleeve gastrectomy were superior in terms of weight loss and diabetes control compare with medical management,” Aminian says.

Father George had gastric bypass and was part of the stampede study. He dropped more than 100 pounds and no longer needs insulin. Father George hit an all-time low weight of 135. He says his faith and his parishioners are a source of support.

“And they see me at events, and some will say, ah, you lost more weight!” he says.

In the most recent study, researchers say patients who had surgery reported more energy, less body pain, and better physical health than patients who had medical treatment alone for diabetes.

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