Weight Loss Procedure Curing Diabetes?

FRESNO, Calif.

He was the personal chef for millionaire Donald Trump, made meals for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and now, Tom Haynes is responsible for bringing students into the Institute of Culinary Education.

"I've had the great pleasure of working with tens of thousands of students," Haynes told Action News.

From pastas to pastries, from the mixing to the details, Hayne's has done it all, but he's most proud of what he did for his health.

"I'm fit now. Years ago, I was getting morbidly obese," Haynes told Action News.

Weighing in at 285, Haynes was diabetic for 10 years.

"My diabetes was out of control. I had to stab myself 13 times a day with insulin," Haynes said.

Today, Haynes is insulin- and medication-free all because of a side effect of bariatric surgery.

"Some patients who take insulin for type 2, they have an operation, and very often, we don't put them back on insulin," Francesco Rubino, M.D., from NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, told Action News.

Dr. Rubino is spearheading the studies of gastric bypass surgery and its effects on diabetes. It started back in 1999 when he noticed an unexpected side effect to the surgery he was performing on morbidly obese patients.

"I noticed some patients had diabetes remission as early as days or weeks after the operation," Dr. Rubino told Action News.

Once a surgery only used for people with body mass indexes over 35, now a new clinical trial at NewYork-Presbyterian is using gastric bypass for people suffering from diabetes with a BMI as low as 26.

"I thought changing the gut anatomy, you change the way the way the gut speaks to the body," Dr. Rubino said.

And the way the pancreas creates insulin, which doesn't work properly for people with type 2 diabetes. However, why this surgery sends diabetes into remission is still a mystery.

"I don't think we can claim victory or we have a cure. The reason is we don't understand the cause," Dr. Rubino said. "If we do understand why bypass works, we could understand how diabetes works, and in the future, we may not need a surgery to cure diabetes."

As a result of his bypass, Haynes dropped 110 pounds. He went from 285 to 175. His neck was once 19 and a half inches. Now, it's 16 and a half.

"I feel that I'm cured," Haynes told Action News. "I'm like the Energizer bunny. It's totally changed my life."

Dr. Rubino also believes the surgery would be cost-effective. Studies show the costs of a one-time bariatric surgery are offset by the reduced diabetes-related medical costs.

Andrew Klein, Public Relations
NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell

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