Gastric Pacemaker To Fight Obesity By Convincing Brain That Stomach Is Full

A stomach implant that can trick the brain into thinking the stomach is full is the latest hi-tech gadget that experts hope will help fight the flab and beat obesity.

The Abiliti, or 'Gastric Pacemaker', is a credit card-sized implant, inserted using keyhole surgery, which detects when food has been eaten and sends signals to the brain to create the feeling of fullness.

The device is made by US company, IntraPace and consists of a lead, a food sensor and an electrode.

When food is ingested, the sensor is tripped and instantly sends a signal to the device that triggers a series of electrical pulses to the electrode. These stimulate the vagus nerve and cause hormone changes that trick the brain into thinking it's full.

Health experts hope that this bulge-battling device will become a popular alternative to the gastric bypass, where the stomach is surgically made smaller, as this carries potential health risks.

They also hope that it will train obese people to eat normal-sized portions and feel full up without the need of stomach shaping surgery.

The £10,000 device is already available at selected private hospitals and will be carried out on obese patients who have a BMI of 35 or above. Experts believe that looking into the future, the fat-buster may be offered to the merely overweight to ensure they don't become obese.

The device is already proving a success as during trials in Europe, people fitted with the gastric pacemaker ate 45% less.