An implantable device similar to a pacemaker has received approval in Europe for commercial marketing. Called the abiliti (R) system, this device, following minimally invasive surgery, sends a low level electrical impulse to the stomach whenever a person eats or drinks. This stimulation is supposed to make the person feel full causing them to eat less. There are no restrictions in the types of foods allowed and the side effects of nausea reported in gastric bypass or gastric banding are avoided.
The system is said to automatically record when the patient eats, drinks, and exercises and the information can be viewed via a wireless connection. This information can be of benefit to the physician and patient to view patterns of behavior and develop treatment strategies to achieve better outcomes for weight loss.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated 1.6 billion people are overweight and 400 million are obese. Diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and heart disease are a few of the health problems associated with obesity. Weight loss surgery has proven effective for some suffering from obesity but impose some lifestyle restrictions and side effects. The abiliti system may be an alternative for some.
The original article was featured in “Medical News Today”, an online medical news source, posted on January 11, 2011.