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Wesley Medical Center, an acute care hospital providing full range of diagnostic and treatment services for patients throughout Kansas and northern Oklahoma, announces a position statement from the International

Diabetes Foundation (IDF) supporting the use of bariatric weight-loss surgery for type 2 diabetes.

According to the IDF study, the global prevalence of type 2 diabetes is rising dramatically, driven by sedentary lifestyles and excessive consumption of junk food. The most recent global predictions by IDF suggest that there are 285 million people with diabetes currently worldwide. This is set to escalate to 438 million by 2030 with a further half billion at high risk. Diabetes is looming as one of the greatest public health threats of the 21st century.

The study reports from its research that bariatric surgery should be considered as an alternative treatment option in patients with a BMI between 30 and 35 when diabetes cannot be adequately controlled by optimal medical regimen, especially in the presence of other major cardiovascular disease risk factors.

“I am excited that the International Diabetes Federation has made such a strong statement in support of bariatric surgery as a legitimate treatment for type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Ian Villanueva, Wichita’s only fellowship-trained bariatric surgeon and medical director of Wesley’s surgical weight-loss center. “Even more significant is their support for bariatric surgery for type 2 diabetics with lower BMIs between 30-35. I am hopeful that this statement will motivate more insurance companies to expand patient access to bariatric surgery as the scientific evidence and health benefits of bariatric surgery are too significant to ignore.”

Wesley has worked with insurance companies to include surgical weight-loss in covered services. “Last year, we wrote white papers on the benefits and risks of surgical weight-loss for several insurance providers,” says Mary Singleton, Wesley Medical Center Employer Relations Director. As a result of our actions and national consensus, Coventry started covering bariatric surgery and Aetna which covered 2 surgical weight loss procedures added a third procedure, the sleeve gastrectomy. “This is a great example of the acute care hospital, employers and insurance providers partnering to cover services patients need.”

Wesley’s bariatric weight-loss program offers three different procedures performed by Dr. Villanueva: roux-en-y, gastric band, and sleeve gastrectomy. While no medical treatment for diabetes can achieve as complete and profound effect as weight-loss and surgery, additional benefits such as lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels can result from bariatric surgery resulting in overall better health.

For more information about Wesley’s weight-loss program and its benefits call 316.962.2066 or visit