Obesity Treatment Device May Trim the Fat

Maestro Rechargeable System controls feelings of fullness and hunger

(RxWiki News) The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Wednesday approved a first-of-its-kind device to treat obesity.

That device is the Maestro Rechargeable System, made by EnteroMedics, Inc. It is meant to control hunger and help obese patients lose weight by tricking the nerves that connect the stomach and the brain into thinking the stomach is full.

“Obesity and its related medical conditions are major public health problems,” said William Maisel, MD, deputy director for science at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, in a press release. “Medical devices can help physicians and patients to develop comprehensive obesity treatment plans.”

Around a third of all US adults are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Obesity can lead to health problems like type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease.

Obesity is often measured by body mass index (BMI). BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. A BMI higher than 30 is usually considered obese.

The Maestro Rechargeable System was approved for use in adults with a BMI between 35 and 45. The device is implanted in the stomach. It sends electrical signals to the nerves that control feelings of hunger, which may help patients eat less.

The device helped patients to lose weight in a study of its safety and effectiveness. Patients with the implant lost 8.5 percent more weight in a year than patients who had a fake implant. Side effects of the device included pain, nausea and vomiting.

Review Date: 
January 14, 2015