Bariatric surgery for diabetes control was selected as the top medical innovation for 2013 by physicians and scientists at the Cleveland Clinic.
The announcement was made today during the Cleveland Clinic’s 2012 Medical Innovation Summit. The highly anticipated Top 10 list is released annually naming the devices and therapies that will have a major impact on improving patient care within the next year.
It was selected as the top innovation “because it’s an effective treatment for diabetes, not just for weight loss, and this will have an impact on healthcare in 2013,” according to Philip Schauer, MD, director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Bariatric and Metabolic Institute.
Bariatric surgery, or surgery for obesity, has been performed for many years to facilitate weight loss in individuals who are extremely overweight. It is now considered the most effective option we have in treating severe obesity. Once a person is 100 pounds or more overweight, diet and exercise alone are usually not effective options in promoting substantial and lasting weight loss.
Depending on the specific procedure, bariatric surgery works by limiting how much food a person can eat and/or reducing food absorption. The most common procedures are gastric bypass (stomach reduction and intestinal rerouting), gastric sleeve (stomach reduction), and gastric banding (medical implant).
Unexpectedly, it was observed that one of the side effects of surgery for weight loss was the improvement of diabetes. Over the years, this outcome has been seen in a majority of bariatric surgery patients, often before they even leave the hospital.
Medications have traditionally been the best treatment for diabetes, and while they are good, about half of the people who take them are still unable to control the disease. This can lead to heart attack, blindness, stroke, and kidney failure.
Earlier this year, Cleveland Clinic doctors released a study that showed bariatric surgery is more effective in treating Type 2 Diabetes than medications alone. According to study results, patients who had bariatric surgery, compared with patients taking diabetes medications and receiving lifestyle counseling, were far more likely to be free of diabetes or have reduced dependence on diabetes medications, for at least two years.
Other studies shown similar results. Many diabetes experts now believe that bariatric surgery is a reasonable treatment option for patients with poorly controlled diabetes and that it should be considered earlier and not just as a last resort.
The Top Ten
To arrive at the Top Ten list, a panel of Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists reviewed 150 nominations gathered from more than 110 Clinic experts of emerging technologies that were judged to have a high probability of commercial success.
- “Our list gives you the flavor of where health care is going,” says Chris Coburn, executive director of Cleveland Clinic Innovations.
The Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2013 are:
1. Bariatric Surgery for Control of Diabetes
2. Neuromodulation Device for Cluster and Migraine Headaches
3. Mass Spectrometry for Bacterial Identification
4. Drugs for Advanced Prostate Cancer
5. Hand-held Optical Scan for Melanoma
6. Femtosecond Laser Cataract Surgery
7. Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion
8. Modular Devices for Treating Complex Aneurysms
9. Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT)
10. Health Insurance / Medicare Program / Rewards for Better Health
About the Cleveland Clinic
Innovations, the Cleveland Clinic’s corporate venturing arm, has been hosting the Medical Innovation Summit since 2003. This annual get-together gathers together 1,000 great thinkers and leaders for a candid exchange on new medical technology, its future, recent breakthroughs and continuing challenges. Many regard the meeting as among the premier healthcare gatherings in the United States.
Cleveland Clinic is recognized as one of the most innovative healthcare companies by Fast Company and Innovations has been recognized as one of the Top 5 healthcare organizations by Global Corporate Venturing.