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Updated on July 16, 2013


Readers of my Hubs, and I am glad to see so many find them interesting and informative, will know that I am a constant campaigner againt lifestyle excesses that bring with them, in far too many cases, type 2 Diabetes. In the UK alone 3 million people are calculated as needing treatment on the NHS for this form of diabetes whilst countless millions more receive medical assistance to assist in overcoming the obesity which is the root cause for the diabetes. The cost to the Taxpayer is over £9 billion annually. Clearly this is a punitive cost on those who manage their lifestyle without the need to gorge on fatty foods and make themselves, in my eyes, socially unacceptable.

Anyone can see the extent of the problem simply by walking down the High Street or any Supermarket and check the numbers of both sexes waddling by. Try a 4 hour flight with one of them sitting next to you if you think I am unfair by the way!

Doctors for a long time now have associated obesity as the key cause for type 2 diabetes and weight loss surgery has been used to help many who seem unable to help themselves by change of lifestyle. Gastric Band surgery has become well known as are bypasses, in fighting the problem and patients are known to enjoy substantial periods of remission. Now a new advance is available.


The new treatment has the advantage of being less invasive than gastric band surgery and is effectively a sleeve fitted inside the patient, with less parts of the human digestive system needing to be removed. The whole procedure takes just 40 minutes under a general anaestheic

The main component is a very thin plastic sheath or sleeve which looks very like a sausage skin, hence the name "Sausage Skin Implant". The sheath is put in place by means of a tube being inserted via the mouth and carefully threaded down into the stomach. Once there the sausage skin is unfurled and locked in place by means of a sprung metal anchor unit.

The effect is to line the initial 2 feet of the small intestine which causes food taken in, to be moved further down the intestine for digestion. This helps inhibit hormone release within the gut, causing an alteration in the pancreatic function and as a result affects the production of insulation. Insulin is , of course, the key hormone in diabetes. As well as that, the action of the sheath assists in generating weight loss in the patient producing a "win / win" result.

The new procedure is important news for patients and Taxpayers alike. Type 2 Diabetes develops when the body loses the natural ability to process blood sugar. This causes too much of the sugars to remain in the blood. Patients can see their blood sugar levels rise steeply. The normal is around 4/5 but in type 2 patients scores of over 20 can result. The net result of this is damaged organs and blood vessels both of which escalate the risks of strokes and heart disease. The cost of these added to diabetes treatments are enormous.

The utilisation of the sausage skin, or to give it the correct name, ENDO-BARRIER, is less invasive than previous treatments like gastric bands and bypasses as indicated above, and can see a rapid reduction in both weight and diabetes medications to enable patients to recover towards normality. It is also cost effective to patients based on results obtained.

The sheath working life is 12 months currently. After this it is removed allowing the patient to return to a normal digestive process. Patients report that their blood sugar levels remain normal after this procedure and do not rise rapidly to danger levels after the removal, subject to them leading sensible lifestyles, which it seems most do, having had the sharp shock of realisation as well as the sausage skin pass through them. Most see significant improvements and some achieve complete remission.

Some, for whatever reson, regain weight, but even these see an improvement in their diabetes position. Doctors, naturally nervous about effects once the sleeve is removed, have been greatly encouraged by results to date. Currently, the operation has to be paid for by the patient at a cost of around £7,000 but it is proving value for money and may even be seen in the future as a means of saving on that £9 million annual bill the NHS faces in dealing with type 2 diabetes alone .

The key factor still remains however, and only by individuals taking charge of their own lifestyles will we ultimately see a major decline in what, in too many cases, is a self afflicted disease. For now, the use of the sausage skin can assist.As ever, prevention is better than cure.


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    • Kulsum Mehmood profile image

      Dr Kulsum Mehmood 4 years ago from Nagpur, India

      Very informative hub. Thank you for sharing.