An Implant Device May Be The Answer Against Obesity; vBloc Coming Out Soon?

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Feb 06, 2017 08:50 AM EST

EnteroMedics based in Minnesota has created a palm-size neuromodulator that is surgically implanted into the stomach to block the communication between the stomach and the brain. (Photo : VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

A device that sheds light to combat obesity has now been released in the market. The technology firm EnteroMedics based in Minnesota has created a palm-size neuromodulator that is surgically implanted into the stomach.

According to Daily Mail, the vBloc releases signals that will bar the communication between the stomach and the brain causing suppression to the patient's appetite. It is placed directly under the skin with two wires connected to the Vagus nerves on the stomach.

The device can wirelessly communicate with a computer program and can stay implanted in a patient's lifetime. Batteries are rechargeable and may last up to 10 years with approximately 14 hours a day during activation.

Medical director of St. Francis Bariatric Surgery Division in South Carolina, Dr. Kenneth Mitchell said in his statement that "vBloc is a device that we implant in a patient using a minimally invasive approach that allows us to be able to adjust the way that the Vagus nerve communicates from the stomach to the brain". In fact, patients can return home on the same day of surgery and the device is activated between two to three weeks later.

Obesity is easily defined as a raised in body mass index (BMI). The body mass index is the weight in kilograms divided by the height in meters squared. Body mass index above the 24.9 kilograms per meter squared is overweight and a prequalifying sign of obesity. BMI greater than 30 kilograms per meter squared is now considered as obese.

The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention pass a warning that the obesity rate among adults in the US is now at 37 percent, a 12 percent increase in 2000. Likewise, experts added that if this epidemic will not be controlled, there will be an at least 44 percent obesity rates in all 50 states in the year 2030.

However, per Obesity Action Campaign, weight above 30 kilograms per meter squared may not be always be considered as obese. In fact, some athletes have low body fat but do have more muscle mass than non-athletes are sometimes mistakenly considered as obese by BMI alone.

Waist circumference approximately measured at the belly button and it is usually used to support the BMI. Likewise, the central fat around the abdomen produces more unhealthy substances than peripheral fat and acts as a toxic inflammatory organ.

The vBloc is readily available in 11 states. Also, there are now 74 patients across the country have undergone the procedure after the Federal Drug Administration approved vBloc release in the market in 2015. But, no results have been published yet and surgeons are currently targeting those who have tried dieting for more than five years.

vBloc is a medical breakthrough that really helps in combating obesity. Since the surgery and the device cost will amount to $18,500 and are mostly not covered by insurance, obtaining payer coverage of vBloc will allow the device to be the standard care for physicians who are fighting obesity, Enteromedics spokesperson said

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