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