New Gastric Pacemaker
FDA Approval for Weight Loss
A new implantable
device is up for approval by the FDA which appears to reduce the
appetite. The device is similar to a heart pacemaker but the electrodes
are implanted into the stomach and not the heart.
The ABC News
program 20/20 recently aired a segment describing the procedure. It
appears to be a safe and effective for treating obesity. Individuals
considering the more risky gastric bypass surgery should think about
this safer treatment.
While the patient
is under general anesthesia surgeons use a laparoscope to make small
holes in the abdomen. They place small electrical wires into the wall
of the stomach. The wires are attached to a battery pack about the size
of a silver dollar that is placed just under the skin.
stimulation the stomach is fooled into thinking it is full. Scientists
are still not sure how the device works. It could send a direct pulse
to the brain saying the patient is full, or it could just relax the
stomach muscles signaling a full stomach. It could block the gut
hormones that make people feel hungry.
It may not work
for everybody. Some individuals may just continue to eat. Unlike
gastric bypass surgery, the treatment is so safe that it has been used
to treat overweight individuals (not just the more sever obese
individuals) in Italy where the treatment was first used. Specialists
also recommend a healthy diet and exercise.
The batteries will
last for 7 years. At that time the patient may consider replacing the
batteries or a removal. The FDA is expected to approve the device. It
is yet to be seen if insurance companies will pick up the tab for the
By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer
Books on Dieting
Keywords and misspellings: pace maker pasemaker
gastric devise Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston Dr. Scott
Shikora stumach stumack staple by pass