New implant developed for treating diabetes

Tue, 22 Feb 2011
A study by surgeons in the UK has made a breakthrough in the development of a new implant to help treat people with type 2 diabetes . The treatment, called the EndoBarrier, is a small plastic sleeve that is positioned in the small intestine through the mouth for up to a year, and which could take away the need for medication, as well as helping people suffering from the disease to lose weight .

The researchers conducted a year-long study into the technique, and have already performed 15 implants using the device, which stops food entering the stomach and the intestine so it cannot be absorbed. It is being trialled at three hospital trusts around the UK for overweight patients with type 2 diabetes, although Southampton is the first to finish the initial part of the project.

Use of the EndoBarrier means that food bypasses a part of the upper intestine, so the body has less time to digest it, and also allows more control over metabolic rate and potentially lower blood sugar levels. It was shown the device could achieve weight loss of over 20 per cent of total body weight.

James Byrne, one of the consultant general surgeons in Southampton General Hospital working on the project, commented "Initial results among the 15 patients who have had the EndoBarrier inserted have been really encouraging and we are very excited about the potential impact of this new treatment for patients."
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