Pioneering surgeons at Southampton’s university hospitals have performed the first 15 implants of a new device that could remove the need for medication to treat type 2 diabetes and help sufferers lose weight.
The EndoBarrier, a small plastic sleeve which is placed into the small intestine via the mouth for up to 12 months, works by acting as a wall between food entering the stomach and the intestine so it cannot be absorbed.
The device ensures food bypasses a section of the upper intestine, giving the body less time to digest it. This enables greater control over metabolic rate and leads to reduced blood sugar levels. In a 12 month study, patients fitted with the EndoBarrier achieved weight loss of more than 20 percent of their total body weight (average loss 22kg / 3.5 stone).
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.
Jamie Kelly and James Byrne, consultant general surgeons at Southampton General Hospital, are the first to complete the initial part of the project and 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,” said Mr Byrne.
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.
Mr Byrne says his team is already noticing patients with diabetes requiring less medication to manage their condition, while they are also achieving rapid weight loss – and they hope the procedure will be made widely available to NHS patients across the country.
“We are already seeing the benefit to our patients with reductions in the treatment required to manage diabetes as well as significant weight loss – and weight loss so far is tracking as well as we typically see achieved with the more invasive gastric band procedure,” he explained.
Mr 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, the EndoBarrier is only available as a private procedure. For patients wishing to find out more about having the EndoBarrier procedure privately visit www.endoscopicweightloss.co.uk.