Lap-Band & Bariatric Surgery Find Match in EndoBarrier

The cacophony surrounding the news that a pair of studies has found that a different, older procedure ‒ the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass – is “more effective” and “no riskier” than either the Lap-Band or  the “less-drastic” (sic) sleeve gastrectomy surgery, has drowned out a news of a new British implant devise that helps weight loss and lowers blood sugar levels.

It has been reported that surgeons at a British hospital have pioneered a new treatment that could remove the need for medication to treat type 2 diabetes while helping sufferers lose weight.

Medics at Southampton General Hospital have performed the first 15 implants of a new device called the EndoBarrier.

The EndoBarrier is implanted under a short general anaesthetic and performed as a day case procedure, with all 15 patients participating in the trial discharged home within hours of completion.

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.

The sleeve is also performing as well so far as the more invasive gastric band procedure in helping weight loss.

In a 12-month study, patients fitted with the EndoBarrier achieved weight loss of more than 20% (on average 3.5 stone) of their total body weight. The sleeve is also performing as well so far as the more invasive gastric band procedure in helping weight loss.

Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust is one of three centres in the UK participating in a study to evaluate the effectiveness of the device in patients who are overweight and suffer with type 2 diabetes. The other two are Trafford General Hospital in Manchester and St Mary’s Hospital, London.

Consultant general surgeons Jamie Kelly and James Byrne at Southampton are the first to complete the initial part of the project and say they are pleased with the early findings.

“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. We are already seeing the benefit to our patients with reductions in the treatment required to manage diabetes as well as significant weight loss. The weight loss so far is tracking as well as we typically see achieved with the more invasive gastric band procedure,’ Bryne explained.

Kelly added: “The procedures performed in this initial study were performed on NHS patients and further evidence of the effectiveness of this treatment will hopefully ensure it will be offered to NHS patients in the future.” At present EndoBarrier is available only to private paying paients.

Anyway, the biggest danger is that new weight-loss options like EndoBarrier, Lap-Band,  Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy surgery have the potential to encourage overweight people to abandon traditional diet and exercise for procedures that carry some serious risks. That should be a big worry for all diabetes educators and activists.

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