Tens of thousands of type 2 diabetics have received lap band surgery for overweight, and some have experienced nearly immediate remission from diabetes. But does the procedure work over the long term?
Doctors in Belgium surveyed lap band recipients 12 years after surgery. There is really good evidence that the procedure helps diabetics take weight off and keep it off. Even 12 years after the surgery, the average surgery patient had managed to keep off 42.8% of excess weight.
But the procedure is not complication-free. Half of patients had to have their bands removed. Sixty per cent had to have additional surgeries. Nearly 40 per cent reported "serious complications."
Still, more diabetics reported being satisfied with the procedure than not. Before you submit to any surgery for weight loss, however, make very sure you have tried the one diet that really works: Eating less. And if the only way you can eat less is to have the surgery, then choose your doctor carefully and make sure you are fully informed.