Sunday, November 23, 2014

Monitor Diabetic Retinopathy after Weight Loss Surgery

Patients with diabetes withdiabetic retinopathy who have weight loss surgery need to carefully monitor any progression of their retinopathy after the bariatric surgery even if their blood sugar is normal. What does weight loss surgery have to do with diabetic retinopathy? Researchers reporting at the  American Diabetes Association on a small pilot study found weight-loss surgery might accelerate progression of diabetic retinopathy in some cases. In the study 17.5% of the diabetes patients screened about a year before and again after bariatric surgery suffered a progression of their diabetic retinopathy as compared with the 2% to 4% of the overall diabetes patients who develop retinopathy each year. The opposite impact might have been expected. If you have a condition such as diabetic retinopathy that is the result of the diabetes and the diabetes is in remission, it makes intuitive sense that the progression of the condition would be arrested. Although a few patients did appear to have regression of their eye disease most remained unchanged after surgery in the study.

Progression of Diabetic retinopathy after Weight Loss Surgery
The patients who did progress had higher pre-surgical glucose levels and the greatest reduction in glucose levels afterward. A rapid reduction in blood glucose after the weight loss surgery-which is called “normoglycemic re-entry” or a temporary anemic episode after the weight loss surgery may actually be responsible for in the progression of preexisting diabetic retinopathy, but the mechanism is really unclear and requires a great deal of further investigation. One fact for sure-even if after weight loss surgery your blood glucose is normal, people with moderate background diabetic retinopathy prior to weight loss surgery should be monitored closely post-surgery for evidence of progression.

If you or someone you know has questions about diabetic retinopathy and weight loss or bariatric surgery and the  need for careful monitoring should feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or to schedule an appointment.