A hospital in the UK has become the first in the world to implant a teenager with a non-surgical device called an EndoBarrier to help treat their type 2 diabetes.
The device, a small plastic sleeve – which was fitted to Victoria Parr, a 17-year old student from Lymingto, Hants, at Southampton General Hospital – is positioned in the upper intestine through the mouth. It should remain in the body for up to a year and works to prevent food from being absorbed by ensuring it bypasses a section of the upper intestine. This means that not so much time is allowed for digestion and it also helps to improve insulin resistance.
It is hoped the EndoBarrier will help to alleviate the problem of increasing levels of childhood type 2 diabetes, as well as the rise in obesity, as it both lessens the need for diabetes medication and benefits weight loss.
The device was fitted on the NHS by a team led by Nikki Davis, a consultant paediatric endocrinologist, and James Byrne, a consultant surgeon. Dr Davis pointed out “This is potentially a major addition to the treatments currently available for severe type 2 diabetes and obesity in teenagers, and could help to address the progression of the condition and the early development of complications in an increasing number of cases among children and adolescents.”

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