Could this be the key to the future for controlling weight loss....cutting the Vagus nerve to depress the desire to consume food? It stands to be a lot less expensive than current procedures with full on gastric bypass surgery...BD
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- More than 177,000 Americans had weight loss surgery in 2006. This can mean massive weight loss, but the surgery doesn't come without risks. Now, an investigational approach is helping patients shed pounds a whole lot safer. Dr. Lustig says the vagus nerve, which tells the brain when the body's full, plays a big part in obesity. He's testing an easy-on-the patient surgery called a laparoscopic vagotomy where he actually cuts the vagus nerve.
An early study shows the 20 minute procedure led to an average 18 percent excess weight lost. Not only does the procedure have fewer side effects than gastric bypass, but it's cheaper, too! Bypass surgery costs between $25,000 and $50,000, while this new procedure would cost between $5,000 and $10,000. The procedure does not cause the massive weight loss patients report after gastric bypass, but Dr. Lustig says it typically does cause more weight loss than weight-loss drugs. This technique is still being studied and not yet widely available.