Revolutionary diabetes and obesity treatment arrives in WA

Patient Sandie Reid and Dr Krishna Epari (Courtesy of the Community Newspaper Group)

Patient Sandie Reid and Dr Krishna Epari (Courtesy of the Community Newspaper Group)

Five patients were the first in WA to undergo a revolutionary new procedure at St John of God Murdoch Hospital that provides promising diabetes treatment and weight loss control.

Two weeks after the procedure was performed, three of these patients ceased using insulin and two halved their normal dosage. All five lost weight.

The hospital’s Director of Medical Services Dr Shirley Bowen said EndoBarrier Therapy seems to be an effective, non-surgical option for those who struggle to control their blood sugar and weight.

“The treatment has been used successfully in the eastern states and overseas so we are very excited to be using this breakthrough therapy here at the hospital,” said Dr Bowen.

“This will completely change the landscape for the medical community and their patients. It has very rapid benefits and fewer of the risks associated with invasive surgery.”

Using an endoscope, a thin, flexible liner is placed in the intestine via the mouth. The liner acts as an alternative to gastric bypass, acting as a physical barrier between food and part of the intestinal wall.

Patients treated with the therapy on average see a 20 per cent reduction in their weight over 12 months, a rapid improvement in their blood sugar levels, reduced appetite and feeling full for a longer period after eating. Many patients also find their dependency on their diabetic medication is significantly reduced or abolished.

Sandra Reid, one of the first patients to have the procedure, has been trying to manage her diabetes for more than 20 years and has already experienced positive effects from the procedure.

“I have had lap band surgery and I was on the maximum amount of medication for diabetes,” said Sandra. “Nothing was really working for me.”

“I am now on half the dosage of insulin and am feeling really good – I look forward to seeing what happens now and to finally having my diabetes under control.”

Mr Alan Thomas, one of three doctors at St John of God Murdoch Hospital who performs EndoBarrier procedures, is very enthusiastic about this new treatment for an increasingly common disease.

“The first procedures went extremely well,” said Mr Thomas. “We have seen patients’ blood sugar levels improve within 48 to 72 hours.”

“Endobarrier is a really wonderful option for people with diabetes or obesity who have few options left or for those who don’t want to, or can’t, pursue surgical options.”

Mr Thomas, along with two other treating doctors, Mo Ballal and Krishna Epari, are looking forward to performing more procedures in October at St John of God Murdoch Hospital.

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