Saturday, September 12, 2009

An Update on the GI Dynamics Intestinal Liner

Last year we wrote that the company, GI Dynamics of Lexington, Massachusetts, presented a report on the results of tests done using an intestinal liner that duplicates some of the functions of gastric bypass surgery. We went on to say that the liner, called the EndoBarrier, reduces the amount of calories that the body absorbs from food that is eaten.

Further, we indicated that the liner is inserted endoscopically through the mouth, and placed in the small intestine, covering about two feet of the intestine. Finally, we said that test results indicated that the liner could cause weight loss and produce beneficial effects for those with type 2 diabetes.

The intestinal liner mimics some of the malabsorptive characteristics of gastric bypass surgery. Gastric bypass surgery is a combination of two weight-loss surgical procedures that reduce calorie intake. In one of the procedures, called restriction, the surgeon creates a smaller stomach using a portion of the original stomach. This smaller stomach restricts the amount of food a person eats, thus reducing calorie intake. In the other procedure, called malabsorption, the surgeon reroutes the small intestine so that food bypasses a portion of the small intestine, reducing the amount of calories (and nutrients) absorbed by the body.

Persons participating in intestinal liner tests were able to lose an average of 30 pounds and there was a decrease in the blood sugar level in study subjects. Thus, there was a lessening of symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes.

Last month, GI Dynamics reported that they have improved the therapeutic effects of the Endobarrier Intestinal Liner by combining the liner with the company's Endobarrier Flow Restrictor. This device is used to delay the stomach's emptying of food into the small intestine. This is known as gastric emptying or GE. And this device appears to enhance the effects of the Endobarrier.

If ongoing tests of the Intestinal Liner plus Flow Restrictor prove successful, the combination might be a safe and effective method for weight loss and weight maintenance. And a weight loss or bariatric center may be able to employ the device and gain a competitive advantage.

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