Gentle yet effective treatment of obesity

This project foresees the development of an implantable prosthesis for the intestinal tract to provide for a partial, adjustable and reversible gastrojejunal bypass. The goal is to activate a malabsorption syndrome for the treatment of morbidly obese patients.

The prosthesis is illustrated in the following drawing. It is a pipe-formed stent-like structure with a central reservoir. The proximal end of the prosthesis is introduced into the distal esophagus. The distal end of the prosthesis is fixed in a separately established gastrojejunostomy. The central reservoir communicates with the stomach lumen via various lateral openings. 

State-of-the-art gastric bypass operation (left) and application of the gastric bypass implant (right).

During ingestion a large part of the food is directly moved to the anastomized jejunum section. When ingestion occurs too rapidly, in particular when high- calorie food is ingested, this can lead to early dumping (lack of volume) and late dumping syndromes (postprandial hypoglycemia). Together with malabsorption, this leads to patient weight loss. 

Unlike the gastric bypass operations that are common today, the distal stomach is not completely cut off from food intake (and is still subject to endoscopic control). In fact, the implant does not affect the gastroduodenal food passage.