A newly-tested medical device called ‘Sleeveballoon’ mimics the effects of traditional bariatric surgery in rodents and produces impressive results on body weight, fatty liver and diabetes control, a new study has found.
As a device that combines a balloon with a connected sleeve, Sleeveballoon covers the initial parts of the small intestine. It is inserted into the stomach and bowel during a minimally invasive surgery under general anaesthesia.
For the study, published in the journal EBioMedicine, researchers compared the effects of the Sleeveballoon and traditional bariatric surgery on 30 rodents fed with a high-fat diet, achieving very similar results.
Results were also compared to rats, with the new device reducing food intake by 60 per cent and resulting in a 57 per cent reduction in fat mass.
The effect on diabetes was similarly impressive with blood glucose levels dropping by 65 per cent.
“Gastric bypass surgery is a highly effective treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes. However, very few eligible patients, only around one per cent, are offered surgery and some also prefer less invasive approaches,” said study’s lead author Geltrude Mingrone, professor at King’s College London.
During the study, the research team found that the metabolic effects of the Sleeveballoon device are similar to those of the gastric bypass but have distinct advantages over the traditional method.
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In both, insulin sensitivity and heart functions improved.
“However, while gastric bypass causes a rapid rise in post food blood glucose levels which can cause hypoglycaemia, the Sleeveballoon induces a slowing down of digestion which has a steadying effect on blood sugar levels,” Mingrone said.
“This helps control appetite and hunger, keeping the person fuller for longer, and substantially reduces weight,” he added.