|Title of Invention
FOOD INTAKE RESTRICTION DEVICE
|A food intake restriction device for forming a stoma opening in the stomach or esophagus of a patient comprises an elongated restriction member forming means for forming the elongated restriction member into at least a substantially closed loop around the patient's stomach or esophagus so that the loop defines a restriction opening and an adjustment means for adjusting the restriction member in said loop to change the size of said restriction opening. A wireless remote control means is provided for non-invasively controlling the adjustment means to adjust the restriction member to thereby obtain a desires size of said restriction opening.
Food intake restriction device
The present invention relates to a food intake restriction device for forming a stoma opening in the stomach or esophagus of a patient/ the device comprising an elongated restriction member, forming means for forming the elongated restriction member into at least a substantially closed loop around the patient's stomach or esophagus, said loop defining a restriction opening, and an adjustment means for adjusting the restriction member in said loop to change the size of said restriction opening. The term ""patient" includes an animal or a human being-
Food intake restriction devices in the form of gastric banding devices, in which a band encircles a portion of a patient's stomach to restrict the food intake of the patient, have been used in surgery for morbid obesity to form a small gastric pouch above the band and a reduced stoma opening in the stomach- Although such a band is applied around the stomach to obtain an optimal stoma opening during surgery, some prior gastric banding devices are provided with an adjustment means enabling a minor post-operation adjustment of the size of the stoma opening. In all such prior art devices such as disclosed in U.S* Patent No. 4,592,339, European Patent No. 0611561 and International Patent Application WO 94/27504, the adjustment means typically comprises an inflatable cavity in the band and an injection port in fluid connection with the inflatable cavity for adding fluid to or withdrawing fluid from the latter* In practice, the band is made of silicone rubbSr which is a material approved for implantation and the fluid is a liquid such as an isotonic salt solution.
It has also been found that the volume of the gastric pouch above the band increases in size up to ten times after operation. Therefore the pouch volume during surgery needs to be very small, approximately 7 ml, To enable the patient to
feed the stomach with sufficient nutrition immediately after an operation considering such a small gastric pouch, the stoma initially needs to be relatively large and later needs to be substantially reduced,• as the pouch volume increases. To be able to achieve a significant range of adjustment of the band, the cavity in the band has to be relatively large and is defined by a thin flexible wall, normally made of silicone material. Furthermore, the size of the stoma opening has to be gradually reduced during the first year after surgery as the gastric pouch increases in size. As indicated above, the reduction of the stoma opening using the prior art devices is achieved by adding liquid to the cavity of the band via the injection port to expand the band radially inwardly.
A great disadvantage of repeatedly injecting liquid via the injection port is the increased risk of the patient getting an infection in the body area surrounding the injection port. If such an infection occurs the injection port has to be surgically removed from the patient. Moreover, such an infection might be spread along the tube interconnecting the injection port and the band to the stomach, causing even more serious complications. Thus, the stomach might be infected where it is in contact with the band, which might result in the band migrating through the wall of the stomach. Also, it is uncomfortable for the patient when the necessary, often many, post-operation adjustments of the stoma opening are carried out using an injection needle penetrating the skin of the patient into the injection port.
It may happen that the patient swallows pieces of food too large to pass through the restricted stoma opening. If that occurs the patient has to visit a doctor who can remove the food pieces, if the band design so permits, by withdrawing some liquid from the band to enlarge the stoma opening to allow the food pieces to pass the stoma. Then, the doctor has to add liquid to the band in order to regain the restricted stoma opening. Again, these measures require the use of an injection
means for wireless transfer of energy may be adapted to directly power the motor with transferred energy- The energy transferred by said means for transfer of energy may comprise wave signals, an electric field or a- magnetic field.
Preferably, the wireless remote control means comprises separate signal transmitting means and implantable signal receiving means. The signal receiving means comprises a control unit adapted to control the adjustment means in response to signals from the signal transmitting means, For example, the signal transmitting and signal receiving means may be adapted to transmit and receive signals in the form of digital pulses, which may comprise a magnetic or electric field. Alternatively,-which is preferred, the signal transmitting and signal receiving means may be adapted to transmit and receive wave signals, which may comprise electromagnetic waves, sound waves or carrier waves for remote control signals.
The food intake restriction device further comprises an implantable energizer unit for providing energy to energy consuming components of the device to be implanted in the patient, such as electronic circuits and/or a motor for operating the adjustment means. The control unit may be adapted to power such an implanted motor with energy provided by the energizer unit in response to signals received from the signal transmitting means, Any known or conventional signal transmitting or receiving device that is suitable for use with a human or mammal patient may be provided as the signal transmitting or receiving means. The signals may comprise electromagnetic waves, such as infrared light, visible light, laser light, micro waves, or sound waves, such as ultrasonic waves or infrasonic waves, or any other type of wave signals. The signals may also comprise electric or magnetic fields, or pulses* All of the above-mentioned signals may comprise digital signals.
The motor may be any type of motor, such as a pneumatic, hydraulic or electric motor and the energizer unit may be
adapted to power the motor with pressurized gas or liquid, or electrical energy, depending on the type of motor. Where the motor is an electric motor, it may power pneumatic or hydraulic equipment.
In accordance with a first particular embodiment of the invention, the energizer unit comprises a power supply and the control unit is adapted to power the motor with energy from the power supply. Preferably, the power supply is an electric power supply, such as a battery, and the motor is an electric motor. In this case, the battery also continuously powers the circuitry of the signal receiving means between the adjustment operations, in order to keep the signal receiving means prepared for receiving signals transmitted from the signal transmitting means,
In accordance with a second, preferred, particular embodiment of the invention, the energizer unit is adapted to transfer energy from the signals, as they are transmitted to the signal receiving means, into electric energy for powering the implanted electronic components. For example, the energizer unit may be adapted to transfer the energy from the signals into direct or alternating current.
In case there is an implanted electric motor for operating the adjustment means the energizer unit may also power the motor with the transferred energy. Advantageously, the control unit is adapted to directly power the electric motor with electric energy, as the energizer unit transfers the signal energy into the electric energy. This embodiment is particularly simple and does not require any recurrent invasive measures for exchanging empty power supplies, such as batteries, that is required in the first embodiment described above.
To expand the field of application of the second preferred embodiment to adjustment means of the type that requires more, but still relatively low, power for its operation, the energizer unit may comprise a rechargeable electric power supply for storing the electric energy obtained and the control unit be
adapted to power the electric motor with energy from the rechargeable electric power supply in response to signals received from the signal transmitting means. In an initial charging step the rechargeable power supply can be charged over a relatively long time (e.g. a few seconds up to a half hour) without powering the electric motor. In a following cperaning step, when the power supply has been charged with sufficient energy, the control unit powers the electric motor with energy from the charged power supply to operate the adjustment means, so that a desired change of the patient's stoma opening is achieved. If the capacity of the power supply is insignificant to achieve the necessary adjustment in one single operating step, the above steps may conveniently be repeated until the desired adjusument is achieved.
The-electric power supply suitably comprises an inexpensive simple capacitor- In this case, the electric motor may be a stepping motor.
In connection with the second preferred embodiment the signal transmitting means may be adapted to transmit electromagnetic wave signals and the energizer unit be adapted to draw radiant energy from the electromagnetic wave signals, as they are transmitted to the signal receiving means, and transfer the radiant energy into electric energy.
In accordance with a third particular embodiment cf the invention, the energizer unit comprises a battery, an electrically operable switch adapted to connect the battery to the signal receiving means in an "on" mode when the switch is powered and to keep the battery disconnected from the signal receiving means in a "standby" mode when the switch is unpowered, and a rechargeable electric power supply for powering the switch. The control unit is adapted to power the electric motor with energy from the battery in response to signals received from the signal transmitting means, when the switch is in its "on" mode. Advantageously, the energizer unit may be adapted to transfer wave energy from the signals, as they are
transmitted to the signal receiving means, into a current for charging the-rechargeable electric power supply, which suitably is a capacitor- Energy from the power supply is then used to change the switch from "off" (standby mode) to "on" • This embodiment is suited for adjustment means of the type that require relatively high power for their operation and has the advantage that the electronic circuitry of the signal receiving means does net have to be powered by the battery between adjustment operations, as is the case in the above described first embodiment of the invention. As a result, the life-time of the battery can be significantly prolonged.
In the above-described second and third embodiments of the invention, the signal transmitting means may be adapted to transmit electromagnetic wave signals and the energizer unit be adapted to draw radiant energy from the electromagnetic wave signals, as they are transmitted to the signal receiving means, and to transfer the radiant energy into said current- The energizer unit suitably comprises a coil of the signal receiving means for inducing an alternating current as electromagnetic wave signals are transmitted through the coil and a rectifier for rectifying the alternating current. The rectified current is used for charging the rechargeable power source.
Alternatively, the signal transmitting and receiving means may solely be used for control signals and further signal transmitting and receiving means be provided for transferring signal energy to implanted components. By such a double system of signal transmitting and receiving means the advantage is obtained that the two systems can be designed optimally for their respective purposes, namely to transmit control signals and to transfer energy from signals.
A-lthough the above-described embodiments of the invention may very well be implemented in connection with the prior types of food intake restriction devices discussed above, in which the adjustment means comprises an inflatable cavity of a restriction member, it is preferred to use an elongated restriction member
which is non-inflatable, in order to avoid the risk of fluid leaking from the cavity. Furthermore, it is preferred to use an adjustment means which is designed to mechanically adjust the non-inflatable restriction member.
The invention is described in more detail in the following by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which
Figur 1 is a schematic cross-sectional view of a part of the food intake restriction device in accordance with the present invention;
Figures 2 and 3 are cross-sectional views taken along the lines II-II and III-III, respectively, of Fig. 1;
Figure 4 is a block diagram illustrating remote control components of the device of the invention;
Figure 5 is a schematic view of exemplary circuitry used for the components of the block diagram of Fig. 4.
Referring to the drawing figures, like reference numerals designate identical or corresponding elements throughout the several figures.
Figs, 1-3 show an example of a part of the food intake restriction device of the invention, comprising a circular resilient non-inflatable restriction member 2 with two overlapping end portions 4,6. The restriction member 2 defines a substantially circular restriction opening 3 and is enclosed in an elastic soft hose 8 except at a releasable and lockable joint 10 of the restriction member 2, which when released enables application of the restriction member 2 with its hose 8 around the esophagus or stomach of a patient in a surgical procedure. All of the in body components are desirably of biocompatible material or covered with bio-compatible material.
An adjustment means 12 mechanically adjusts the longitudinal extension of the restriction member 2 to change the size of said restriction opening. The adjustment means may comprise any known or conventional mechanical device for this purpose. The illustrated embodiment of the device 12 comprises
a pulley 14 in frictional engagement with the overlapping end portions 4,6, The pulley 14 is journalled on a holder 16 placed in the hose 8 and provided with two counter pressure rollers 18,20 pressing the respective end portions 4y 6 against the pulley 14 to increase the frictional engagement therebetween, An electric motor 22 is connected to the pulley 14 via a long flexible drive shaft 24 and is moulded together with an energiser unit 26 in a body 28 of silicone. The length of the flexible drive shaft 24 is selected so that the body 28 can be placed in a desired position in the abdomen of the patient. All components are of bio-compatible material, or covered with biocompatible material.
If the patient some time after the operation needs adjustment of the restriction opening 3 of the restiriction member 2, the energizer unit 26 is controlled to power the electric motor 22 either to rotate the pulley 14 in one direction to reduce the diameter of the circular restriction member 2 or to rotate the pulley 14 in the opposite direction to increase the diameter of the restriction member 2.
It should be understood that the implantable part of the device described above alternatively may be one of a variety of different adjustable designs. For example, the elongated restriction member may be inflatable by a fluid, which is pumped to and from the restriction member by a pump operated by the motor 22.
Fig. 4 shows the basic parts of an exemplary remote control system of the device of the invention including the electric motor 22, This remote control system is based on the transmission of electromagnetic wave signals/ often of high frequencies on the order of 100 kHz - 1 gHz, through the skin 30 of the patient. For the first embodiment of the invention any known or developed remote control system may be utilized; electromagnetic wave signals do not need to be transmitted. In Fig. 4, all parts placed to the left of the skin 30 are located outside the patient's body and are thus not implanted, whereas
the form illustrated below.
Start pattern, 8 bits Command, 8 bits Count, 8 bits Checksum/ 8 bits
The commands are sent continuously during a rather long time period, e.g. about 30 seconds or more. When a new increase or decrease step is desired the Count byte is increased by one to allow the implanted control unit 38 to decode and understand that another step is demanded by the external control unit 36, If any part cf the digital packet is erroneous, its content is simply ignored.
Through a line 40, the implanted energizer unit 2 6 draws energy from the high frequency electromagnetic wave signals received by the receiving antenna 34. The energizer unit 26 stores the energy in a power supply, such as a large capacitor, powers the control unit 38 and powers the electric motor 22 via a line 42.
The control unit 38 comprises a demodulator and a microprocessor. The demodulator demodulates digital signals sent from the external control unit 36, The microprocessor of the control unit 38 receives the digital packet, decodes it and, provided that the power supply of the energizer unit 26 has sufficient energy stored, sends a signal via a signal line 44 to the motor 22 to either increase or decrease the size of the restriction opening 3 of the restriction member 2 depending on the received command code.
Alternatively, the energy stored in the power supply of the energizer unit may only be used for powering a switch, and the energy for powering the motor 22 may be obtained from another implanted power source of relatively high capacity, for example a battery. In this case the switch is adapted to connect said battery to the control unit 38 in an "on" mode when said switch is powered by said power supply and to keep said battery disconnected from the control unit in a "standby" mode when said
switch is unpowered.
With reference to Fig. 5, the remote control system schematically described above will now be described in accordance with a more detailed embodiment. The external control unit 36 comprises a microprocessor 46, a signal generator 48 and a power amplifier 50 connected thereto. The microprocessor 46 switches the signal generator 48 on/off and to modulate signals generated by the signal generator 48 with digital commands that are sent to implanted components (to the right of skin 3 0 in Fig. 5) of the implantable device. The power amplifier 50 amplifies the signals and sends them to the external signal transmitting antenna 32. The antenna 32 is connected in parallel with a capacitor 52 to form a resonant circuit tuned to the frequency generated by the signal generator 48.
The implanted signal receiving antenna coil 3 4 forms together with a capacitor 54 a resonant circuit that is tuned to the same frequency as the transmitting antenna 32, The signal receiving antenna coil 34 induces a current from the received high frequency electromagnetic waves and a rectifying diode 60 rectifies the induced current, which charges a storage capacitor 58. A coil 56 connected between the antenna coil 34 and the diode 60 prevents the capacitor SB and the diode 60 from loading the circuit of the signal receiving antenna 34 at higher frequencies. Thus, the coil 56 makes it possible to charge the capacitor 58 and to transmit digital information using amplitude modulation.
A capacitor 52 and a resistor 64 connected in parallel and a diode 66 forms a detector used to detect amplitude modulated digital information. A filter circuit is formed by a resistor 68 connected in series with a resistor 70, in turn connected in series with a capacitor 12, in turn connected in series with the resistor 68 via ground, and a capacitor 74, one terminal of which is connected between the resistors 68/70 and the other terminal of which is connected between the diode 66 and the circuit formed by the capacitor 62 and resistor 64. The filter
night, thus avoiding vomiting or nausa
1. A food intake restriction device for forming a ..
the battery disconnected from the signal receiving means in a "standby" mode when the switch is unpowered, and a rechargeable electric power supply for powering the switch.
19, The device according to claim 18, further comprising an implantable electric motor (22) for operating the adjustment means (12) , the control unit (38) being adapted to power the
24* The device according to any of claims 20-23, wherein the
rechargeable electric power supply comprises a capacitor.
37. A food intake restriction device substantially as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
Dated this 15 day of January 2001
|Indian Patent Application Number
|PG Journal Number
|Date of Filing
|Name of Patentee
|OBTECH MEDICAL AG
|ZUGERSTRASSE 74, CH-6341 BAAR,
|PCT International Classification Number
|PCT International Application Number
|PCT International Filing date