Written on Monday, November 20, 2006 by Gemini
A 125 Kg British Woman Will Be Fitted With Remote-Controlled ‘Easyband’ To Help Her Lose Weight
A woman weighing 20 stones is to be fitted with a remote- controlled stomach band that can be electronically adjusted from outside her body. The operation on 29-year-old Maria Corvi will be the first of its type carried out. The gastric band will be tightened to vary the capacity of her stomach, limiting the amount of food she eats while giving a feeling of fullness. Called the Easyband, it contains a tiny receiver and a computer chip linked to a motor the size of a 10p piece. Once the band is in place, a wire attached to it is led up into the chest and fitted to a tiny receiver which sits just underneath the skin by the breastbone.
To tighten the Easyband, a doctor presses a button on a handheld computer, sending an electronic signal via the receiver to the motor. Conventional gastric bands are filled with salt water and can be tightened only by injecting more fluid to inflate the band - which carries a risk of infection. Corvi is paying £9,500 for the operation, which will take place at the Alexandra Hospital in Manchester. She hopes it takes her from a Size 20 to a Size 12 after her weight ballooned thanks to takeaways and tortillas.
She said: “I have thought about weight-loss surgery several times. I was put on my first diet by my mum, who took me to see a nutritionist when I was six. I have tried all the diets going and last year I started a hospital diet. I did lose a few stones, but I have put the weight back on.” David Ashton, from the Healthier Weight Centre said: ‘This is a huge advance for gastric band surgery. It allows accurate and painless adjustments, whilst removing the risk of infection or leaks.”
Model ‘stomach’ to aid research
British scientists have built what they say is the world’s first artificial stomach: a shiny, high-tech box that physically simulates human digestion. Constructed from plastics and metals able to withstand the corrosive acids found in the gut, the device will aid development of supernutrients, such as foods that could fool the stomach.
“There have been lots of jam-jar models of digestion before,” said Martin Wickham of Norwich’s Institute of Food Research, the artificial gut’s chief designer, referring to the beakers of enzymes typically used to approximate the chemical reactions in the stomach.