VBLOC Vagal Blocking Therapy
This innovative, new weight loss therapy relies on a pacemaker-type device that allows patients to lose weight by blocking some of the Vagus nerve’s signals to the digestive system. We believe that this therapy will be a viable option for those seeking an alternative to traditional bariatric surgery procedures.
Dr. Collin Brathwaite is one of the first physicians in the United States trained to offer the VBLOC vagal nerve blocking therapy since it was approved by the FDA.
Qualifying for VBloc
Much like other bariatric procedures, patients with a BMI of 35 or over with one or more obesity related diseases and those with a BMI of 40 or over, regardless of comorbidities, may qualify. Patients should have participated in a supervised weight loss program within the last 5 years.
How VBLOC Works
The vagus nerve controls a host of muscle activity in the body. Indeed vagal nerve stimulation has been used for over a decade to control epileptic seizures amongst other conditions. Not only does it have an effect on muscle activity in the body but also plays a part in the regulation of blood pressure and heart rate.
VBLOC therapy works in conjunction with the Maestro System, a pacemaker-like neuroregulator, implanted just under the skin. During surgery, two electrodes are implanted in the trunks of the Vagus nerve near where the stomach and the esophagus meet. The system is then programmed to suit the individual patient.
During waking hours, the device delivers electrical impulses that block vagal nerve signals intermittently. The result of this blockage often means fewer hunger pangs, which in turn assists the patient in regulating their eating. The device can be recharged and adjusted with a simple visit to the doctor – no additional invasive procedure is necessary.
A Reversible Weight Loss Option
This procedure is meant to be a permanent weight loss tool. However, VBLOC therapy does not alter the anatomy of the gastrointestinal system in any way, so the procedure can be reversed with minimal risk. It is worth noting that when the VBLOC system is removed, patients are likely to regain weight.
Results will vary between patients and, of course, part of any weight loss surgery requires lifestyle modification. Patients dedicated to the improvement of their health will usually lose more weight than those that resist changes to their diet and exercise. Clinical trials have shown the VBLOC system to offer an average of 25% excess body weight loss.