Surgery set to become a treatment option for type 2 diabetes in Ireland
A new HIQA report published this week (Tues, July 26) has concluded that surgery is not only safe but may be the most effective treatment for many patients with type 2 diabetes caused by obesity, based on a review of research from around the world. Patients benefit both from improvements in blood sugar and bodyweight, with the majority of patients having their diabetes go into remission. Diabetes surgery also results in reduced risk of type 2 diabetes-related complications such as diabetic kidney disease and heart attacks.
Importantly patients will also need to use the health service less, thus saving the HSE money in the long term. It is estimated that at the moment 50,000 patients in Ireland could be eligible, but maybe only 5,000 may be interested in diabetes surgery, especially if this can put their diabetes into remission.
Irish Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (IrSEPN) Chairperson and Chair of Surgery in Trinity College Dublin and St James’s Hospital Prof John Reynolds said: “The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) assessed diabetes surgery as a potential option for patients with diabetes in Ireland. In its report HIQA concluded that a diabetes surgery programme provided as part of the usual diabetes clinical care pathway would be a more efficient and more cost-effective use of taxpayers money compared to the usual care provided to patients.”
St. Vincent’s University Hospital and University College Dublin Obesity Specialist Prof Carel Le Roux added: “HIQA estimated that a new programme will cost €7.6 million over five years and be able to treat 200 patients per year. This can be done together with existing services and should provide end-to-end care, from referral, pre-operative assessment, the surgical episode and long-term follow-up”.
My Best Weight GP Dr Mick Crotty pointed out that the success of a metabolic surgery programme would be dependent on how well GPs and hospitals can work together. This will work best if GPs are supported to provide long-term follow-up to these patients.
Professor Le Roux added: “We often hear patients tell us that despite their using the best medical treatment, unfortunately their diabetes is slowly getting worse and affecting their liver, kidneys, or heart. Patients know if they can have diabetes surgery they can get rid of the diabetes and their organs will then improve.
“More than a thousand patients with diabetes are having this lifesaving operation in France each year. All patients need is for the HSE to follow the advice of the government experts and allow patients to be helped.”
Maura Murphy speaks to Alanna MacNamee from the Sunday Business Post about obesity.
Other perspectives of obesity are shared, like from Dr. Michael Crotty.
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