Obesity has been on the rise. Regardless of all the new products that are released every year to fight this epidemic, it’s still an issue in the United States. Now the FDA has approved a new weight loss pacemaker to help the severely obese get back on track.
How Does the Weight Loss Pacemaker Work?
The Maestro Rechargeable System by EnteroMedics was approved Wednesday. It’s only for those who are over 18 years old. Unlike other procedures such as gastric bypass, the subject can’t self sabotage and reverse the surgery. Gastric bypass is only beneficial if the person maintains eating small amounts frequently. However, over time, people tend to ignore the feeling of fullness and stretch their stomachs back out. The weight loss pacemaker or appetite pacemaker works with the brain to tell the body its full. It’s very hard to trick this system or reverse it.
The appetite pacemaker sends electrical impulses to the brain by way of the vagus nerve. These impulses tell the brain that it’s full. Through science and research, scientist have found that these shocks to the brain are beneficial to weight loss.
Unlike the lapband, The Maestro System is a rechargeable system that can be removed. Doctors also have more control of the device and can change the settings to either increase or decrease the sensitivity without doing invasive surgery.
Half of the experimental group lost at least 20 percent of the extra weight they needed to drop, and 38 percent lost at least 25 percent. In addition, after 18 months, the FDA also saw evidence of sustained weight loss, which is a big factor in overcoming the obesity epidemic.(source).
One of the patients involved in the clinical trial says he is pleased with his results. Mike Magnant, a 63-year-old father of four, lost 70 pounds using the system called a VBLOC. His video interview, above, is part of a special series WebMD is doing in partnership with “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts. The series, WebMD’s Future of Health with Robin Roberts, will feature five promising health and medical advances and will be published early this year (source).
While this procedure is less extensive then gastric bypass, it’s still surgery. There are still risks involved. It’s still unknown how much the device will cost and if insurance will cover it. Based on the news, the device will be between 10-40,000. However, your health is priceless. Without your health you really have nothing. For many people battling the obesity, the weight loss pacemaker may be the best choice to keep them alive and healthy.
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