A new implantable medical device, developed in collaboration with Mayo Clinic researchers, shows promise as a reversible and less extreme alternative to bariatric surgery, according to findings published the current issue of the journal Surgery.
In a six-month open label trial involving three medical centers in Australia, Mexico and Norway, the 31 obese participants who received the vagal nerve blocking device, also called VBLOC™ therapy, lost an average of nearly 15 percent of their excess weight. A quarter of the participants lost more than 25 percent, and three patients lost more than 30 percent, of their excess weight.
Segment #1: Dr. Camilleri describes the theory behind the research into blockade of the vagal nerves.
Segment #2: Dr. Camilleri describes how the device works.
Segment #3: Dr. Camilleri compares VBLOC therapy with established forms of bariatric surgery.
Segment #4: Dr. Camilleri explains why diet modification was not included in this study.
Michael Camilleri, M.D., a gastroenterologist who helped to design the study and one of the Mayo Clinic researchers whose previous work and know-how contributed to development of the device in collaboration with EnteroMedics, Inc., says the goal is to find a less drastic alternative to bariatric surgery that will still yield significant weight loss. Bariatric surgery techniques currently used include “banding” which involves placement of a band around the top part of the stomach to reduce its capacity or the different bypass procedures which re-route food and remove part of the stomach.
Updated: For information about the new study involving the VBLOC device, visit the EMPOWER Study website, call the study info call line: 866.291.9146 or visit the Clinical Trial Web Link for detailed information about the trial and recruiting centers.