Safe Alternative To Bariatric Surgery?
Obesity implants “trick” the nerve cells lining the stomach to release a chemical signal that tells the brain the stomach is full. Feeling stuffed, you stop eating.
The end result…calorie restriction and weight loss. Before discussing whether they are a safe alternative to bariatric surgery, lets go over how they work.
How Do Obesity Implants Work?
A small electrical device, similar to a computer chip, is implanted under the skin just below the rib cage. Two wires from the implant connect to the
outer wall of the stomach and deliver a low-level electrical current, when activated by muscle contractions.
The electrical current triggers the release of a chemical signal which tells the brain that the stomach is full. The impulse may also cause the stomach muscle to relax and distend as if full of food, tricking the body into feeling full.
Researchers hope the implant can regulate appetite signals and boost metabolism.
The devices currently used in Europe are intended for severely obese individuals. However, several biotechnology companies are developing ones for the mildly obese individual.
In the U.S, clinical studies are in the early phases and focus on collecting safety data and overall effectiveness. It’s too early to draw any conclusions, but the results look promising for some implants to receive approval soon.
Early reports of one clinical trial estimates that the implants will help one-third to one-half of obese patients. But among those who do have success, the average patient has lost about 40 percent of excess body weight.
Potential Benefits: An alternative to bariatric surgery
First, obesity implants could offer a safe alternative to bariatric surgery. Surgery is expensive, costing $20,000 or more, and it carries a significant risk for serious medical complications and death.
Some estimates show that one in every 200 patients undergoing gastric bypass surgery dies.
Secondly, if the devices are truly effective in restricting calories, they could play a role in treating certain eating disorders and regulating blood-sugar levels in diabetic patients.
One company is currently recruiting patients for a trial involving obese people with diabetes. The objective is to gauge how weight loss affects diabetes and how the implants affect certain hormones, like insulin.
Obesity implants look promising as low-risk alternative to bariatric surgery. Other benefits might include treating eating disorders and diabetes.
Until approved, obesity implants are useless. Even once approved, there are much safer methods of losing weight. If you are having trouble losing weight on your own, we suggest you consider a weight loss supplement. While most weight loss supplements do not work very well, there is one that is different:
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If you have any questions about an alternative to bariatric surgery, please contact us.