Removable 'Gut Sleeve' Might Become a Future Weight-Loss Tool

Study of experimental procedure showed promise in rats

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The possibility of improving glucose metabolism -- and the lower cost and risk of the procedure -- would fit the needs of more patients, he said.

The intestinal barrier sleeve procedure could be done for people with Crohn's disease and other illnesses that make them ineligible for gastric bypass surgery, Phillips said. But because the sleeve is made of silicone, those with latex allergies would most likely not be able to have the procedure, he added.

Phillips said the intestinal barrier sleeve procedure would allow patients to avoid hospitalization and not run the risk of perforation of the colon or death from anesthesia or surgery. "This is going to be safer and reversible," he said.

The biggest risk associated with the intestinal barrier sleeve is the chance that it will not stay in place, Phillips said. "But even if it stays in place for just a couple of months, [the sleeve] could be a help, especially for someone who needs to lose weight quickly to have a heart transplant or other surgery," he said.

More information

To learn more about preventing and treating obesity, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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