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NHS should use device that helps diabetics lose weight

A plastic sheath that can reverse type 2 diabetes and help sufferers lose weight should be rolled out across the NHS, experts claim.

The Endobarrier, which is a reversible procedure, makes obese patients feel full and helps them shed 2st on average.

The 60cm tube is both a safe and effective treatment, a trial shows. It mimics the work done by gastric bypass surgery but is safer.

It helped cure six patients, stopping them from needing their daily insulin, experts at at Birmingham City Hospital revealed.  

The EndoBarrier is a tube made from a Teflon-like material that is inserted into the stomach and the small intestine. It stops food being digested and fools patients into feeling full

The EndoBarrier is a tube made from a Teflon-like material that is inserted into the stomach and the small intestine. It stops food being digested and fools patients into feeling full

The researchers, led by Dr Robert Ryder, said: 'Endobarrier therapy is highly effective in patients with obesity and diabetes that has been very hard to treat. 

'The Endobarrier service could be a safe and cost-effective treatment for the NHS.

'It does not involve surgery and patients do not have to stay in hospital, so reducing the risk of infection.'  

Existing trials 

Dr Ryder and his colleagues have so far implanted the Endobarrier in 50 patients as part of an ongoing NHS trial.

Results for the first 31 patients, who have now had their device removed, show it helped them lose weight and improved their health. 

On average, the patients lost 2st 5lb (15kg), had improved blood sugar control, lower blood pressure and less liver fat. They exercised and kept a healthy diet throughout.

Six patients no longer needed to use insulin to control their condition a year after being given the treatment, suggesting it could be a cure. 

Of the 17 patients monitored for six months after Endobarrier was removed, 65 per cent have managed to keep up weight loss and improved diabetes control.

The 60cm tube is both a safe and effective treatment, a trial shows. It mimics the work done by gastric bypass surgery but is safer

The 60cm tube is both a safe and effective treatment, a trial shows. It mimics the work done by gastric bypass surgery but is safer

Patients also said they had more energy, were more able to exercise and had improved wellbeing, the researchers found. 

How does the device work? 

Endobarrier, which is constructed from a Teflon-like material, is inserted to the small intestine via the throat. It is removed after a year.

Once there, it mimics the effects of gastric bypass

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