For those who are dangerously obese, gastric banding surgery may sometimes be the only option. However, a new form of removable device inserted into the gut through the mouth could provide a more subtle treatment form. Whether the device can be used to help people with diabetes remains to be seen.
Known as the EndoBarrier, the new form of intestinal treatment is an impermeable sleeve that lines the small intestine. Following animal experiments and human trials, the EndoBarrier has been found to reduce weight and bring type 2 diabetes under control.
To insert the EndoBarrier takes under half and hour, and it can be removed in under ten minutes. A team led by gastroenterologist Lee Kaplan has shown how a miniature sleeve can cause weight loss amongst rats.
Before the device is prescribed for people with obesity, including some with type 2 diabetes, further research is needed to make sure that it is effective over longer periods and may be safely left in the gut for longer periods of time.

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