With people who suffer from obesity more at risk of developing life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes it makes sense that scientists are looking for ways to help people lose the excess weight.
One method is through a vagal blocking device that has been in development by EnteroMedics, a company based in the US.
It is said that using this device could help block nerve passages, which supposedly will help to control hunger urges.
How does the implant work?
The device itself is made up of a rechargeable electrical pulse generator, wire leads and electrodes that are implanted through surgery into the abdomen.
There is an external controller that allows the device to be charged and for the doctors to adjust the settings for the best possible results.
When implanted it will send intermittent pulses to your vagus nerve, which is said to communicate between your brain and stomach.
What were the results?
In a clinical study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) the device was tested not only for safety, but also to see just how effective it could be.
During the study 233 patients with a BMI of 35 or more were tested, with those who used the device losing 24% of their excess weight (9% total weight).
While impressive it should be noted that some participants experienced abdominal pain and heartburn.
Is this device the future for weight loss?
The results of this device are impressive, however the FDA has ordered that this device be fully tested over the next 5 years to ensure what effects and side effects it can cause.
In the meantime perhaps you should stick to non-surgical options such as diet and exercise.