The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a surgically implanted device to treat obesity in adults on Wednesday. The Maestro system is the first of its kind to generate an intermittent electrical pulse that blocks nerve signals from the brain to the stomach, thus reducing hunger pangs. This new device is only approved for those with a BMI of 35-45 with at least 1 other obesity-related condition and have tried a supervised weight loss program in the last 5 years. In a yearlong trial, 157 obese adults who received the device lost 8.5% more weight than 76% in the control group who received a fake implant. While the result fell short of the goal of 10%, the FDA is approved it based on the conclusion that the benefits of the implant outweighed the risks. Side effects reported with the implant include nausea, pain near the implant site, vomiting, and surgical complications. Clinicians have the option of adjusting the setting and patients can recharge it with ease at home. EnteroMedics, the manufacturer, hopes to have the implants out in at least 20 centers by the end of this year. The price has not been set and it is unknown if insurance companies will cover it as of yet. What are your thoughts on this new device? Are there any non-pharmacological counseling can you give to your patients on staying healthy?
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