The surgery by laparoscopy, less invasive and aggressive than the traditional one, allows to implant the gastric pacemaker, a device that is fixed in the stomach and works by sending signals to the patient to avoid having appetite when it is not time to eat, and gradually correct their eating habits.
During the operation two electrodes are placed on the wall of the stomach, and are connected to the pacemaker, located on the skin of the patient. One of the electrodes is a sensor capable of detecting food intake and sending that information to the pacemaker, which, if it is not the pre-established meal time, sends a signal that causes the patient to feel full. The specialists explain that it is about regulating the feeding behavior of the patients so that they eat only at the appropriate times for it, and they do not pickle between meals, which helps them to lose weight.
Patients who have undergone this procedure so far, who have a much lower risk of morbidity and mortality than other types of bariatric surgery, have had a positive response to treatment
This new technique to correct morbid obesity, which is considered the latest advance in bariatric surgery, began to be used at the Virgen del Rocío hospital in Seville at the end of last year. Patients who have undergone this procedure so far, who have a much lower risk of morbidity and mortality than other types of bariatric surgery, have had a positive response to treatment, with a weight loss similar to that obtained with other more aggressive techniques. However, it is not indicated for all patients because it depends on their usual way of feeding, and it is necessary to check previously that the stomach responds to the stimuli sent by the electrodes that are part of the treatment.
The gastric pacemaker is still in an international clinical trial phase and its results have to be checked in longer periods after the operation, but in the opinion of experts, about half of the patients suffering from morbid obesity may benefit of this new technique when its efficacy and long-term safety are finally determined.