Novel gastric pacemaker implanted for the first time

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New type of gastric pacemaker for weight loss implanted in Germany for the first time

Gastric pacemakers promise far-reaching successes in fighting obesity. By implanting the devices weighing only 65 grams, the feeling of hunger can be controlled and the weight significantly reduced.

In Germany, a new type of gastric pacemaker (abiliti system) has now been implanted for the first time after completing the previous test phase. A 31-year-old woman with a body weight of 100 kilograms had the innovative device the size of a business card used in the Schwabach City Hospital. The new system offers severely overweight patients a treatment method with which - without the typical side effects of other surgical procedures - considerable weight reductions are possible, emphasized the Schwabach City Hospital in a current press release.

Gastric pacemaker: feeling of satiety through impulses to the stomach The gastric pacemaker sends light impulses to the stomach, through which a feeling of satiety sets in at an early stage, explained the chief physician of the surgical department of the Schwabach City Hospital, Dr. Thomas Horbach, who had carried out the implantation for the 31-year-old. In addition, according to the expert, the device uses a sensor to collect data on food and fluid intake as well as physical activity. In the accompanying medical treatment, the data can be read out at any time, so that not only the overall food intake is reduced, but also the quality of the food and the movement behavior of the patients can be controlled and adjusted, emphasized Dr. Horbach. The gastric pacemaker is implanted in the patient's outer wall of the stomach and the implanted patients are not subject to any restrictions regarding the type of food consumed. However, the accompanying treatment encourages them to eat consciously and exercise regularly, the Schwabach City Hospital said.

Gastric pacemaker offers advantages over other surgical procedures Germany is the second country in the world after Spain to use the new surgical method to combat pathological obesity. At the moment, the new types of gastric pacemakers that have been approved since the beginning of the year are only offered in three clinics in Germany, the Schwabach City Hospital (network of the Erlangen-Schwabach Obesity Center and the Erlangen University Hospital), the Würzburg University Hospital and the Wolfart Clinic in Munich. The chief physician of the surgical department at Schwabach City Hospital, Dr. According to Thomas Horbach, the gastric pacemaker offers a significant advantage over previous surgical methods to combat obesity, since "procedures such as gastric banding, gastric tube formation and gastric bypass (...) are very effective treatment methods for obesity", "but sometimes irreversible in the anatomy of the digestive tract "Intervene and" are often associated with side effects ". In addition, the novel gastric pacemaker can be implanted in a minimally invasive surgical procedure, emphasized Dr. Horbach.

New gastric pacemakers control nutritional and exercise behavior However, critics doubt the success of gastric pacemakers, especially in the case of massive overweight with a body mass index (BMI) above 45. Because a weight loss of up to 30 percent, which was possible with the previous devices, helps them hardly obese people. You would have to lose a lot more to reach normal weight. In addition, the health insurance companies in Germany do not assume any costs for the implantation of the gastric pacemaker, so that those affected themselves have to pay for the procedure. The critics also see the greatest advantage of the novel gastric pacemaker in the possibility of long-term changes in eating and exercise behavior. Because the simple, wireless transmission of the recorded data enables the treating physicians and the patients themselves to always control eating, drinking and activity behavior and adapt their strategies for weight loss accordingly. (fp)

Image: Martin Büdenbender /

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