Diabetes Breakthrough: Bariatric Surgery May Be A Cure

March 28, 2012 Updated Mar 28, 2012 at 7:08 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

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March 28, 2012 Updated Mar 28, 2012 at 7:08 PM EDT

Diabetes. It's a serious health threat in Western New York, affecting more than 120,000 adults and rising every day. Now, two new studies show there's an operation that can eliminate it, and a local hospital is seeing the positive results. Eyewitness News Anchor Joanna Pasceri has the story.
Samantha Stuart is excited to start a new chapter in her life, one day after having bariatric surgery at Sisters of Charity Hospital in Buffalo.
She decided to have the procedure to shrink her stomach and intestines after years of trying to lose weight on her own, without much success.
Samantha's sugar levels were also on the rise, and doctors predicted diabetes in her future, but now two new studies found that bariatric surgery is reversing diabetes almost instantly.
Dr. Joseph Caruana performs the stomach-reducing procedure at Sister's Hospital, designated a Center for Excellence for Bariatric Surgery. He says Sisters has also seen promising results from the procedure in the 5000 patients who have had come through the hospital's program.
Amazingly, the change happens before the pounds come off. Doctors think it may have to do with hormonal changes in the intestines, and in one of the studies, those who had the surgery maintained normal blood sugar levels two years later.
Dr. Caruana and others agree more long-term study needs to be done, but for so many people like Samantha, it's their best hope to live a long and healthy life.