Columbia University

Technology Ventures

Gastric Bypass Shunt for Treatment of Obesity

Technology #1910

“Lead Inventor: Dr. Marc Bessler, M.D.

Gastric Bypass Surgery for obesity improves healing with use of shunt :
One approach to treating obesity is gastric bypass surgery. Gastric bypass surgery entails suturing the stomach into a smaller stomach pouch, which functions as the new stomach, and a remnant stomach, which is no longer involved in digestion. The smaller gastric pouch has a smaller capacity for receiving food than the normal stomach, causing the patient to experience satiation after consuming a smaller quantity of food. After the stomach has been modified, the healing process may require weeks to months. During the healing process, sutures are typically exposed to food and gastric juices as well as to the pressures and tensions that build up in the stomach pouch as a result of peristalsis. This invention constitutes a way of limiting the suture path’s exposure to activity that may disrupt healing by directing food and juices through a biodegradable shunt.

Shunt directs food between the esophagus and small intestines without affecting sutures:
The invention consists of a shunt that directs food and digestive juices directly between the esophagus and small intestines without accessing the suture path, thereby preventing normal digestive processes from disrupting the healing process. The shunt is generally shaped like a tubular conduit and has inlet and outlet portions, which may be supplemented by stents. The inlet portion may also feature a one-way valve to prevent acid reflux. The shunt may be formed out of biodegradable polymers, such as lactide or glycolide polymers, which degrade after healing is complete.

Applications:
• Treatment of obesity, diabetes, and/or chronic constipation
• Shunts may similarly be used in other organs to hasten healing after surgeries

Advantages:
• Isolates gastric suture path from gastric acid and other digestive juices, facilitating the healing process after gastric modification surgery
• Limits suture exposure to the contraction and relaxation of stomach muscles caused by peristalsis
• Shunt may be inserted at the same time that the stomach modification is being performed
• Shunt may be constructed out of biodegradable polymers that degrade after healing has occurred, no additional procedure is necessary
• Hormone injections are unnecessary

Patent Status: Patent Pending (US2008228126-A1, WO2007121028-A2) ~ see links below.

Licensing Status: Available for Licensing and Sponsored Research Support