Surgery that drastically reduces symptoms of diabetes is a Scottish first

11 June 2013

The team at Murrayfield hospital, led by Consultant Bariatric Surgeons Mr Andrew de Beaux, Mr Bruce Tulloh and Mr Peter Lamb, were joined by Mr Jamie Kelly, an expert in the procedure who flew up from Southampton for the day to assist and supervise with the procedure. The EndoBarrier™ is a piece of sophisticated- clinical grade ultra-thin plastic tubing which coats the lining of the upper intestine. The tubing is guided through the mouth and placed in the small intestine where it lines the sides, creating a barrier to delay the mixing of digestive enzymes with food.

Developed primarily as a treatment for Type II diabetes, the tubing effectively alters the activation of hormonal signals that originate in the intestine, which has dramatic effects on the function of the pancreas.  This gives the same effect as a gastric bypass, but without the surgery and without changing the anatomy of the stomach, thereby avoiding many of the risks.

The patient who wishes to remain anonymous commented before the operation, ‘I’m really excited about undergoing surgery, and I think it’s great to be the first person in Scotland to have it. I’ve suffered from type 2 diabetes for years and am over weight so the prospect of an operation that can resolve both is great. Anything that can help me lose weight whilst reducing my diabetic symptoms is welcomed.'

Bariatric Surgeon, Mr Bruce Tulloh added after surgery, ‘Early indications from surgery are good, all going to plan, the patient should be out of bed and able to return home tomorrow morning. The endobarrier was selected for this patient, over the more traditional weight loss surgery due to its promising results in treating diabetes. The patients’ main objective for surgery was to reduce his reliance on insulin, the effect of weight loss is really a fortunate by-product.’ 

The procedure is particularly promising for individuals with Type 2 diabetes who are unlikely to cope with the trauma of gastric surgery.  Clinical experience has found that EndoBarrier™ can provide immediate relief from Type 2 Diabetes in patients. In addition, most patients experience clinically significant weight loss.

Over a period of 12 months, the EndoBarrier™ can expect several stones’ weight loss in addition to reduced diabetic medication.  Many patients can expect to be off their diabetic medication altogether.  The tubing is removed after a period of a year by which time it is hoped that the patient’s eating habits have altered significantly to allow them to continue healthy eating patterns and maintain their diabetic control without the use of any aids.

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