European regulators have approved the sale of a new medical implant intended to be a less invasive option than gastric bypasses or stomach stapling procedures: a "gastric pacemaker" for the gut. When a person is eating, a device implanted in the abdomen triggers a premature notion of fullness by stimulating stomach nerves.
The device, made by Mountain View, Calif.-based IntraPace, will be implanted in the first commercial patients later this week after trials showed fairly impressive results: 65 patients lost an average of 22 percent of their body weights after one year. Some patients shed as much as 38 percent of their poundage.
Abiliti, as the device is commercially called, is implanted laparoscopically inside the abdominal cavity but outside the stomach, with two leads connecting it to the stomach wall. The sensing lead passes through the stomach wall and detects when a person begins to eat. This in turn sends a signal to the second lead, an electrode, which stimulates stretch receptor nerves on the outside of the stomach. In other words, it tricks the nervous system into thinking that the stomach is stretching when it's not and delivers that message to the brain through the vagus nerve.
And because eating less only gets patients halfway to living right, Abiliti also contains an accelerometer that records how much exercise a patient is getting. Doctors can download this data wirelessly.
Of course, tricking the nervous system in this way can eventually lead nerves to become used to the false stimulus and eventually learn to ignore it, but the success of the trials suggests that--for at least year, anyhow--the device is effective at reducing appetite and helping obese patients shed pounds. And its minimally invasive insertion beats stomach stapling and gastric bypass surgeries, both of which involve invasive procedures and the associated risks that go along with them. Such benefits don't come cheap; for the device and procedure, patients are shelling out a hefty $21,000.
Sorry, eating right isn't eating less. It's eating the right foods.
Gastric bypasses and this are just excuses to eat poorly and not put in the actual work. Then again with the extreme prevalence of diet misinformation, people get desperate don't they?
The previous poster is a classic example of denial and "holier than thou" thinking. For a significantly overweight person, their options have diminished quite a bit. Exercising becomes more difficult for numerous reasons, and there are psychological factors which tend to encourage over-eating and less gym time. They are also probably already eating poorly so this device will have little influence there.
In effect, such a procedure gives them a "reset" option. They can lose a significant amount of weight and then it is up to them to decide if they want to chart a different path from the one that led them to obesity. They will have to learn to "eat right" (which includes not over-eating) and exercising more but there is a least some chance they will not want to give up their new form with all its benefits.
Gastric bypasses can be dangerous so this is certainly a huge leap in progress. Hopefully the cost will soon come down in those countries that don't cover medical expenses.
Just shows you that some people really don't understand obesity at all. It's not just people eating wrong, or too much, the typical image of a fat person sitting down in front of the tv eating box after box of snack cakes isn't the real image of obesity at all.
Granted there are some that actually did eat their way to being overweight, but that's a small percentage of the whole. How about those that grew up with a "meat and potatos" typical 50's family? Or the 4 food groups? Those people were given information that wasn't complete or accurate. They were eating heathly, from what they were told by the government. Then you have those with eating disorders, over-eating due to stress, mental issues, etc fall into the same catagory as bulima and anorexia. But you don't see those illnesses being mocked. Some overweight people have thyroid issues, some have stretch nerves that don't work correctly and don't send the proper signals. You can't simply class all overweight people into the "fatty fatty stop eating start running" catagory like OH so many people do.
Now, I heard about this device a few weeks back. It sounds very interesting as it does not cause the issues you commonly see with bypass surgery. I still think gastric banding would be more effective, but I guess if trials go well in the states as they have in the UK, then being able to control the signal delay wirelessly rather than having to inject more fluid as you do with the banding is a very postive option.
There is no one way to quell obesity, but this is a good step forward.