An Important health report about bariatric surgery
A very important health report this week in Ireland concluded that surgery is not just safe but may be the most effective treatment for many people with obesity caused by type 2 diabetes.
The report was a health technology assessment by the health watchdog, the Health Information & Quality Authority.
Bariatric surgery involves changing how the stomach and small intestine process food, resulting in weight loss and improvements in obesity-related health complications.
Traditionally, it is used as a weight-loss intervention in patients with obesity.
The term metabolic surgery refers to the use of bariatric surgery procedures with the aim of improving type 2 diabetes control in patients with both type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Many patients travel for healthcare abroad for bariatric surgery.
Metabolic surgery is not currently offered as part of standard care in Ireland. That now looks set to change.
This new report should see this type of treatment become even more mainstream and commonplace, given the scale of type 2 diabetes and obesity in Ireland.
HIQA’s review included evidence from 24 randomised controlled trials examining metabolic surgery with short-to medium-term follow-up of up to 10 years.
The report concluded that metabolic surgery is safe and very effective in patients with both type 2 diabetes and obesity.
It results in improved blood sugar control, weight loss, and reduced use of anti-hyperglycaemic medications.
HIQA said it would be an efficient and highly cost-effective use of healthcare resources by the HSE. This will put pressure on the HSE to introduce a full clinical programme of care for metabolic surgery.
Not everyone with type 2 diabetes and obesity will want surgery, or be a candidate for it.
However, this latest development could see demand for this type of treatment grow in Ireland and for those waiting for it at home, there will be increased interest in the option of getting it under the cross border healthcare directive.