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New Gastric Pacemaker FDA Approval for Weight Loss

November 26th 2005

New Gastric Pacemaker FDA Approval for Weight Loss

Gastric Pacemaker

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. 


Under constant 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 procedure. 

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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


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:40 PM