The University of Minnesota is leading a new clinical trial examining the effectiveness of gastric bypass surgery to treat type-II diabetes. The study, led by Dr. Sayeed Ikramuddin , is the first to compare the effectiveness of gastric bypass with traditional diabetes management. Two other universities are participating, including National Taiwan University . According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , more than 23 million people in the United States have diabetes . Gastric bypass surgery is aimed at preventing obesity by stapling the stomach, which makes it smaller, and connecting it with the middle part of the personâÄôs small intestine. Ikramuddin, a surgeon in the Department of Surgery , said previous gastric bypass surgeries are successful in controlling diabetes. âÄúWe noticed that the improvement in diabetes is very profound,âÄù he said. âÄúMany people come off their medication.âÄù The clinical trial is specific in the criteria needed for each person to participate, study coordinator Joyce Schone said. Participants must be between 35 and 67 years old, have a body mass index between 30 and 35 and have had diabetes for at least two years. Ikramuddin said if this study finds that gastric bypass surgery does improve diabetes, it could jumpstart new ways to perform the surgery. Ikramuddin is working on a new type of surgery called âÄúnatural orifice surgeryâÄù that would perform surgical maneuvers without cutting open the patient. âÄúIf I can prove the surgery works then we can develop less invasive ways to do the surgery,âÄù he said. Schone said treatment is just as much the patientâÄôs responsibility as it is the surgeonâÄôs. âÄúIn the end, the group that is more responsive in terms of making lifestyle changes is the one thatâÄôs going to do better,âÄù she said. Ikramuddin said thatâÄôs the case no matter how diabetes is treated. âÄúUltimately, what weâÄôve seen is if they keep the weight off and they minimize their food intake, their diabetes gets better,âÄù he said.