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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Latest Weight Loss Device Comes With a Hefty Price

The FDA has approved three devices for weight loss. Two of them, Lap-Band Gastric Banding System and Realize Gastric Band, work by physically restricting the ability for the stomach to contain food. The latest, the Enteromedics' Maestro Rechargeable System, uses an entirely different approach that involves electrically stimulating the vagus nerve to "tell" the brain that the stomach is full. The implanted components of the Maestro system include the neuroregulator, which generates the electrical impulses and is implanted subcutaneously, typically on the side, just above the ribs; and the leads and electrodes, which are placed in contact with the vagus nerve just above the junction of the esophagus and the stomach. The lead and electrodes are similar to the leads and electrodes used in cardiac pacemakers.

According to its FDA approval letter, the Maestro Rechargeable System is for adults who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 to 45 or those with a BMI of 35 to 39.9 with one or more obesity-related comorbid conditions. Patients are also supposed to have failed at least one supervised weight management program within the past five years. Maestro is not the weight-loss answer for the average hefty American. Someone who is six feet tall would need to weigh almost 300 pounds to have a BMI of 40.


Currently not yet available in the U.S. and not FDA approved:
"The Obalon balloon assists with weight loss by helping you feel full sooner and eat less. This, along with diet and exercise, jump-starts your efforts, proving that when it comes to losing weight, less is truly more.

With the Obalon balloon, you now have a non-surgical, reversible, weight loss option. It starts when you swallow a capsule containing a balloon attached to a thin tube. The balloon is inflated and the tube is quickly removed. It generally takes less than 15 minutes and no anesthesia is required. You’re now ready to begin working on your goals.

The Obalon balloon is lightweight and occupies space at the top of your stomach. Because you feel full faster, you eat less. Your doctor can add up to 2 more balloons to continue to facilitate weight loss. So it’s individualized for you. A short endoscopic procedure is used for removal."


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