New 'Appetite-Suppressing Implant' Gives Weight Loss a Boost

by Bidita Debnath on Feb 22 2015 11:53 PM

A US-developed device is set to revolutionize obesity treatment by using electrical impulses to suppress the desire to eat more.
Keyhole surgery is used to plant the device VBloc, which is the size of a matchbox and can be fitted in 90 minutes, in the rib cage with a wire running to a nerve at the top of the stomach that helps regulate appetite, the Daily Express reported.

Scott Shikora of Harvard University, who has carried out thousands of obesity operations, said that this technology could transform obesity surgery.

Shikora added that all the operations they do now alter the shape of the gut, but this treatment leaves everything as it is. A lot of patients, even though they want to lose weight, don't like the fact that as a result of an operation they have to change their food and how much they eat.

Shikora noted that then there are the side effects of gastric weight-loss surgery, such as sickness and demineralisation of their bones. Traditional weight-loss surgery is not an easy ride.

The implant, which is expected to arrive in Britain later in 2015, is likely to appeal to the NHS because a hospital stay is not required and costs 12,000 pounds, but is not yet available on the NHS.

British obesity surgeon Sean Woodcock said that this is a very clever device but they need to see how it does long-term. If you don't want life-changing internal bypass surgery, this could be for you.