Obesity Treatment Devices: FDA-Approved Weight Loss Devices

Obesity Treatment Devices: FDA-Approved Weight Loss Devices

When it comes to obesity, the most commonly recommended methods for weight loss are balanced diets and exercise; however, when those don’t work, people may turn to weight loss devices to assist with their weight loss efforts.

In recent years, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a number of weight loss devices that can help with obesity treatment. These devices are mostly non-invasive and range from intragastric balloons to stomach pacemakers. The most popular FDA-approved obesity treatment devices are intragastric balloons and gastric bypass surgery.

Intragastric balloons are a device in which there are a series of balloons that are inserted into the stomach via endoscopy and filled with inert gas. When they are in place, they restrict the space available for food, leading to a decrease in food intake. This device typically remains in place for six months, after which time it is removed and weight loss can be seen.

Gastric bypass surgery is a more extreme form of weight loss device. In this procedure, part of the stomach and part of the small intestine are bypassed to enable lower calorie intake. This leads to both a decrease in the amount of food eaten and a decrease in the amount of calories absorbed. While gastric bypass surgery is extremely effective, it is only recommended for those with extreme cases of obesity.

In addition to the above-mentioned devices, there are a number of other weight loss devices that are FDA approved but are not as popular as intragastric balloons and gastric bypass surgery. These include stomach pacemakers, gastric electrical stimulation, vagal nerve stimulation and robotic gastric banding.

No matter which obesity treatment device you choose, it’s important to discuss with your doctor to decide if a weight loss device is right for you. In addition, it’s important to recognize that no matter which device you choose, a balanced diet and regular exercise is essential for successful weight loss.

Factors to Consider Before Beginning Obesity Treatment

Prior to prescribing medicine or recommending surgery, doctors will probably want their patients to demonstrate healthy lifestyles that include better nutrition and increased physical activity. Even after medical or surgical treatments, patients will need to maintain a healthy lifestyle for the rest of their lives. And some patients, despite treatments and lifestyle changes, may not be able to lose weight or maintain weight loss.

Patients should be evaluated and treated for eating disorders before considering obesity treatment. An undiagnosed and untreated eating disorder can have serious health consequences for patients, and in fact, some devices are contraindicated for patients that have a history of eating disorders. Medical professionals may also find it appropriate to closely monitor patients that have received obesity devices during treatment for evidence of an eating disorder.

Common eating disorders include binge-eating disorder and bulimia nervosa. According to the National Eating Disorders Association (https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org), some 30 million people in the U.S. suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life.

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