Pacemakers have long been used to regulate heart function. Now, a similar approach called vBloc® may help patients with obesity and weight control problems regulate their appetites.
The therapy, recently approved by the FDA, uses a small device to help patients better regulate their appetites, allowing them to eat more appropriate portion sizes and avoid snacking between meals.
Unlike more complex bariatric surgery procedures such as gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and adjustable gastric banding, the vBloc device can be implanted on an outpatient basis, and adjusted as needed using wireless communication technology. vBloc therapy patients may also have fewer meal and lifestyle restrictions.
While vBloc is a promising alternative therapy for weight loss, it’s not for everyone. “vBloc opens up possibilities for weight loss surgery patients who have a lower body mass index,” says Timothy Shope, MD, a bariatric surgeon at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “Patients still need to first come through our weight loss program and be evaluated to see if they are eligible for the therapy.”