A New Way to Treat Obesity

May 16, 2008 | Source: Technology Review

Enteromedics has developed an implantable device that uses electrical signals to block the vagus nerve (which helps regulate digestion) as an alternative to gastric bypass surgery.

Two electrodes are surgically implanted at the top of the stomach to block signals from the vagus nerve and are controlled by a regulator beneath the skin, which can be programmed at a doctor’s office.

Gastric bypass often leads to dramatic weight loss, but only a small percentage of people eligible for the surgery–those with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 35–actually choose to do it. The procedure comes with some serious risks and is irreversible.