FDA approves appetite pacemaker

FDA Approves Appetite-Curbing Pacemaker

The FDA has approved a new pacemaker-like device that may help control your appetite.

NBC News reports that the Food and Drug Administration approved a surgically implanted, manually-controlled device designed to interrupt hunger signals from the brain to the stomach. The device, called Maestro, will be put inside a patient's abdomen where the esophagus meets the stomach.

A consulting doctor told NBC News, "By blocking signals along the nerves that connect the brain and stomach, [the technology] reduces feelings of hunger and promotes earlier feelings of fullness, which can help people with obesity reduce the number of calories consumed and promote safe, healthy and durable weight loss."

The device is proven to work safely, but the FDA is skeptical of the results. Patients only lost 8.5 percent of excess weight compared to those with a placebo device.

The FDA said, "As part of the approval, the manufacturer must conduct a five year post approval study that will follow at least 100 patients and collect additional safety and effectiveness data including weight loss, adverse events, surgical revisions and explants and changes in obesity-related conditions."

The Maestro won't be sold in stores, it will likely only be offered at specialized facilities, so insurance probably won't cover it. It's still unclear when the appetite-controlling pacemaker will be available to the public.
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