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GLP-1 Enhances Gastric Banding

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have discovered a shot of medication used with weight loss surgery could make a big difference in the results!

Local 12's Liz Bonis shares the details in today's Medical Edge.

Many people struggling with weight loss turn to a surgery similar to the one doctors are performing here. It's called gastric banding. A band is placed around the gut to shrink the size of the stomach. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey just had this type of surgery. He said it was to avoid a gastric bypass, a major surgery which re-routes the intestines. The down side?

"The gastric band is less effective than the roux en y gastric bypass."

Or at least is was until now. Kirk Habegger is an obesity researcher who had a theory about why this was true. So every theory starts with a hypothesis... what started yours?

"One of the key hormones that is changed during the bypass surgery, the more invasive version, is one that is a hormone called glucagon like peptide one, and it's actually been utilized as a therapeutic most people know it as byetta."

That's right. He recently found that this hormone, known as glp one, in the injectible drug for diabetes known as byetta, can even out the results of these two surgeries. In lab studies, he found glp one with gastric banding , enhances weight loss. The hormone appears to help alter appetite.

"So, it sounds like, in the end, what you've developed is still the result of eating less food."

"It definitely suppresses the drive to eat."

The goal now is see if further studies show those who have this surgery can lose more weight with two therapies, instead of one.

"By combining the FDA approved drug that we already have, with the procedure that we already use, hopefully we can have a combination therapy that is just as effective, and less invasive."

Byetta does have side effects, so right now further studies do need to be conducted to see what happens when this medication is used for a long period of time with this weight loss surgery, not just in lab studies, but in people, too.




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