People who have been trying to lose weight without much success can now shed some pounds through a newly approved obesity device that is implanted into the abdomen – courtesy of EnteroMedics Inc. You barely need to struggle to lose weight anymore or engage in activities that may otherwise harm you without any implications on weight loss.

Now approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Maestro Rechargeable System, as the implantable device is called, controls hunger and makes patients experience fullness by targeting the vagus nerve – located in the stomach, it is the nerve pathway that signals to the brain that the stomach is empty and hunger is setting in.

When surgically implanted into the abdomen, the device transmits electrical impulses that interfere with the activity of the vagus nerve and sends conflicting signals that the stomach is filled with food when it is actually empty. So the patient starts to lose weight as a result of eating very little and never feeling any pangs of hunger or the needs to eat at all.

Conducted over a 12-month period, clinical conclusions indicated that patients implanted with Maestro Rechargeable System lost 8.5% more weight than patients included within the control group. The result of 8.5% did not meet the overall goal of the clinical trial – which actually aimed to achieve a 10% weight loss or more – but the FDA advisory panel is of the opinion that additional data compensated for the shortage.

The use of the implantable device for treating obesity was therefore approved based on the facts that its benefits far outweigh the risks for a group of patients.

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