This story aired on 60 Minutes over a year ago. But I keep losing the link to the story and have to dig for it everytime I want to share it with someone. So I'm going to put it here for safe keeping.
If you haven't watched the video yet -- DO IT! There is some fascinating information about new studies on how gastric bypass reduces the risk of cancer, diabetes and other diseases. About halfway through the video, pay attention to the doctor who talks about the studies they are doing on mice in relation to diabetes. The physical cutting of the duodendum is what gives immediate relief to diabetes after WLS -- but when they reconnect the duodendum in those same mice, the diabetes comes back. Fascinating!
It's pretty well known to doctors that the most successful treatment for obesity is surgery, especially the gastric bypass operation. But here's something the medical world is just realizing: that the gastric bypass operation has other even more dramatic effects. It can force type 2 diabetes into almost instant remission and it appears to reduce the risk of cancer.
Surgeons have been performing bariatric, or weight loss operations since the 1950s, but they're much safer than they used to be. They're typically done laparoscopically now, where doctors use tiny surgical tools and video cameras instead of making big, deep incisions.
Despite the increase in obesity, only a small number of people have had the gastric bypass operation.