Effortless Weight Loss with a Stomach Pacemaker

Belly casting by Dorota Quiroz

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If you could conjure up the ideal way to lose weight, I’ll bet it wouldn’t include counting carbs and calories.
There would be no hunger or sense of deprivation. You wouldn’t have to take a drug that leaves you sleepless and wired at night, and it would be less drastic than bariatric surgery.
In other words, you would conjure up a way to eat less with even trying.

An appetite-curbing pacemaker developed in Silicon Valley seems to fit the bill. It has already passed clinical trials and is available in Europe; we should start to see it in the U.S. around 2014. 

The familiar heart pacemaker uses implantable electrodes to deliver electrical impulses that regulate and maintain heart rate. The gastric pacemaker has the same idea. When the wearer starts eating or drinking, the device tricks the stomach and brain, stimulating the nerves around the stomach to tell the brain it’s full after a relatively small amount of food is consumed. Wearers describe the sensation as a slight pressure or tickle that is not unpleasant, and a satisfying sense of fullness.

Traditional bariatric surgeries constrict the stomach through lap bands, stomach staples, and gastric bypass. They force the patients to eat smaller amounts because their stomachs can’t accommodate or process larger volumes. If they overeat, they’ll feel nauseous, vomit, suffer from diarrhea, or even cause the stomach to leak into the abdominal cavity. With little stomach capacity and compromised absorption, food choices have to be regulated and calibrated  to avoid nutritional deficiencies. Surgical complications are rare, but these are invasive procedures, often performed through open incisions while under general anaesthesia, with required hospital stays.

By contrast, the pacemaker is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure. It’s implanted within the abdominal cavity but on the outer wall of the stomach. A normal, healthy diet should be followed. The standard risk of infection at the site of the incision seems to be the only pacemaker complication.

The device is programmed externally, and can be adjusted and customized to suit the wearer’s dietary needs. In trials, the device led to an average weight loss of 22% of body weight in the first year. The battery is good for 5 years.

Find out more, and follow the pacemaker as it moves through the FDA approval process at the manufacturer’s website.

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One Response to Effortless Weight Loss with a Stomach Pacemaker

  1. Pingback: Mar 09 2011 Effortless Weight Loss with a Stomach Pacemaker | Gigabiting

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