Device Zaps Nerve, Tricks Body Into Feeling Full

FDA approves implantable device to fight obesity
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2015 5:18 PM CST
Device Zaps Nerve, Tricks Body Into Feeling Full
The Maestro Rechargeable System.   (EnteroMedics)

(Newser) – If taking a pill that tricks your body into feeling full isn't appealing, how about some quick zaps instead? The FDA has approved a device that uses electrodes implanted in the abdomen to fool the brain, reports Bloomberg. The electrodes stimulate the hunger-controlling vagus nerve, which in turn tells the brain that the stomach is full, explains HealthDay News. The Maestro Rechargeable System will be available only to obese adults who have one other related condition, such as Type 2 diabetes, says an FDA release.

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The Wall Street Journal likens it to a "pacemaker for the stomach" and quotes a gastrointestinal surgeon who predicts the cost will be between $30,000 and $40,000, on par with gastric bypass surgery. The device's maker, EnteroMedics of Minnesota, must keep track of at least 100 patients for five years after surgery for a follow-up study. (Click to read why people tend to weigh less on Fridays.)

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