The LAP-BAND and Diabetes

Weight loss is the single best preventive medicine for diabetes.  A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed that the laparoscopic adjustable LAP-BAND had more resolution of diabetes (type II) as well as normalization of the hemoglobin A1C, than those who were placed in a program of conventional therapy.

In this study there were two groups of individuals: one group had “conventional diabetes therapy with a focus on weight loss by lifestyle change.”  This group did not do as well as the patients who underwent laparoscopic adjustable laparoscopic banding (LAP-BAND).

Below is the “abstract” of this landmark article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Diabetes is associated with an increased rate of heart disease, stroke, renal failure, amputations, erectile dysfunction, and peripheral vascular disease.

Adjustable Gastric Banding and Conventional Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes

A Randomized Controlled Trial

John B. Dixon, MBBS, PhD; Paul E. O’Brien, MD; Julie Playfair, RN; Leon Chapman, MBBS; Linda M. Schachter, MBBS, PhD; Stewart Skinner, MBBS, PhD; Joseph Proietto, MBBS, PhD; Michael Bailey, PhD, MSc(stats); Margaret Anderson, BHealthMan

JAMA. 2008;299(3):316-323.


Context Observational studies suggest that surgically induced loss of weight may be effective therapy for type 2 diabetes.

Objective To determine if surgically induced weight loss results in better glycemic control and less need for diabetes medications than conventional approaches to weight loss and diabetes control.

Design, Setting, and Participants Unblinded randomized controlled trial conducted from December 2002 through December 2006 at the University Obesity Research Center in Australia, with general community recruitment to established treatment programs. Participants were 60 obese patients (BMI >30 and <40) with recently diagnosed (<2 years) type 2 diabetes.

Interventions Conventional diabetes therapy with a focus on weight loss by lifestyle change vs laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding with conventional diabetes care.

Main Outcome Measures Remission of type 2 diabetes (fasting glucose level <126 mg/dL [7.0 mmol/L] and glycated hemoglobin [HbA1c] value <6.2% while taking no glycemic therapy). Secondary measures included weight and components of the metabolic syndrome. Analysis was by intention-to-treat.

Results Of the 60 patients enrolled, 55 (92%) completed the 2-year follow-up. Remission of type 2 diabetes was achieved by 22 (73%) in the surgical group and 4 (13%) in the conventional-therapy group. Relative risk of remission for the surgical group was 5.5 (95% confidence interval, 2.2-14.0). Surgical and conventional-therapy groups lost a mean (SD) of 20.7% (8.6%) and 1.7% (5.2%) of weight, respectively, at 2 years (P < .001). Remission of type 2 diabetes was related to weight loss (R2 = 0.46, P < .001) and lower baseline HbA1c levels (combined R2 = 0.52, P < .001). There were no serious complications in either group.

Conclusions Participants randomized to surgical therapy were more likely to achieve remission of type 2 diabetes through greater weight loss.

Dr. Terry Simpson About Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and went to medical school. Dr. Simpson, a weight loss surgeon is an advocate of culinary medicine. The first surgeon to become certified in Culinary Medicine, he believes teaching people to improve their health through their food and in their kitchen. On the other side of the world, he has been a leading advocate of changing health care to make it more "relationship based," and his efforts awarded his team the Malcolm Baldrige award for healthcare in 2011 for the NUKA system of care in Alaska and in 2013 Dr Simpson won the National Indian Health Board Area Impact Award. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit

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