Objectives: To develop guidelines for the use of gastrointestinal surgery to treat type 2 diabetes and to craft an agenda for further research.
Background: Increasing evidence demonstrates that bariatric surgery can dramatically ameliorate type 2 diabetes. Not surprisingly, gastrointestinal operations are now being used throughout the world to treat diabetes in association with obesity, and increasingly, for diabetes alone. However, the role for surgery in diabetes treatment is not clearly defined and there are neither clear guidelines for these practices nor sufficient plans for clinical trials to evaluate the risks and benefits of such “diabetes surgery.”
Methods: A multidisciplinary group of 50 voting delegates from around the world gathered in Rome, Italy for the first International Conference on Gastrointestinal Surgery to Treat Type 2 Diabetes–(the “Diabetes Surgery Summit”). During the meeting, available scientific evidence was examined and critiqued by the entire group to assess the strength of evidence and to draft consensus statements. Through an iterative process, draft statements were then serially discussed, debated, edited, reassessed, and finally presented for formal voting. After the Rome meeting, statements that achieved consensus were summarized and distributed to all voting delegates for further input and final approval. These statements were then formally critiqued by representatives of several sientific societies at the 1st World Congress on Interventional Therapies for T2DM (New York, Sept 2008). Input from this discussion was used to generate the current position statement.
Results: A Diabetes Surgery Summit (DSS) Position Statement consists of recommendations for clinical and research issues, as well as general concepts and definitions in diabetes surgery. The DSS recognizes the legitimacy of surgical approaches to treat diabetes in carefully selected patients. For example, gastric bypass was deemed a reasonable treatment option for patients with poorly controlled diabetes and a body mass index ≥30 kg/m2. Clinical trials to investigate the exact role of surgery in patients with less severe obesity and diabetes are considered a priority. Furthermore, investigations on the mechanisms of surgical control of diabetes are strongly encouraged, as they may help advance the understanding of diabetes pathophysiology.
Conclusions: The DSS consensus document embodies the foundations of “diabetes surgery,” and represents a timely attempt by leading scholars to improve access to surgical options supported by sound evidence, while also preventing harm from inappropriate use of unproven procedures.