Many people who could potentially benefit from gastric bypass are reluctant to undergo surgery, but some Boston doctors are testing a new, less invasive procedure that may help patients lose weight.
Geri Jemlitch has struggled with food all her life, but when she weighed in a 382 pounds, she knew she had to do something drastic.
She underwent gastric bypass surgery last year. “It has been remarkable… (It has changed) my life and attitude.”
But Geri also decided to undergo a new, less invasive procedure over the summer.
Doctors use an endoscope to place a 2-foot, plastic sleeve called an “endobarrier liner” in the beginning of the small intestine. It allows food to pass through a portion of the tract without being absorbed.
“It prevents digestive juices from coming in contact with the food, thus duplicating the effects of gastric bypass,” explains Dr. Dmitry Nepomnayshy of the Lahey Clinic. “Right now we’re seeing moderate weight loss – 12 to 24 pounds – during the period of the study, which is 12 weeks.”
Researchers are expecting to release the results of the first phase of testing within the next six months, and if the procedure is shown to be safe and effective, then they will begin larger scale studies.
The new device was developed by the GI Dynamics, which is based in Lexington.