and researchers at the Cleveland Clinic have voted weight-loss surgery
as the top medical innovation for 2013, not for its effectiveness in reducing
obesity but for its ability to control type 2 diabetes.
People who reach 100 pounds or more above their ideal weight are almost
never successful in losing weight and keeping it off for many years, says the
clinic announcement. "Many diabetes experts now believe that weight-loss
surgery should be offered much earlier as a reasonable treatment option for
patients with poorly controlled diabetes—and not as a last resort."
Bariatric surgery was chosen as the top innovation "because Medicare
has broadened its indication for payment, and Medicaid in many states follows
Medicare," says Michael Roizen, MD, Cleveland Clinic chief wellness officer,
in a Reuters News article.
"A lot of the other (private) insurance companies started covering it, so
it's much more accessible."
The clinic's list of the best medical innovations for 2013 also
includes an almond-size device implanted in the
mouth to relieve severe headaches, a handheld scanner resembling a blow dryer
that detects skin cancer, better mammography technology, and new drugs
to treat advanced prostate cancer.
and researchers at the clinic voted for what they thought were the biggest,
most significant innovations from the 250 ideas submitted from their
colleagues. One of the main criteria for getting on the list is the number of
people that the product or procedure can potentially help, says Reuters.