Business planning

Stomach implant carries a lot of weight

Michelle Hammond /

Weight loss pacemakerA stomach implant that tricks the brain into feeling full is the latest weapon in the battle of the bulge.

 

The “gastric pacemaker” claims to train obese people to eat normal-sized meals without using surgery to drastically reshape the stomach.

 

The $15,000 credit card-sized device detects when food hits the stomach and then sends satiety signals to the brain.

 

It is hoped the Abiliti device, implanted during keyhole surgery, will be a popular alternative to gastric bypass procedures.

 

The Abiliti, which is made by US firm IntraPace, is attached to a lead, a food sensor and an electrode.

 

When someone with the implant eats, its sensor is tripped and sends a signal to the device, which then sends a series of gentle electrical pulses to the electrode.

 

This excites the nearby vagus nerve and triggers hormonal changes that trick the brain into thinking the stomach is full.

 

Does this technology represent a new frontier with regard to weight loss? For the more medically-minded entrepreneur, it could be worth looking into.

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