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FDA Backs Weight-Loss Device to Curb Hunger

U.S. regulators have approved a device to help control appetite in very obese adults by stimulating a stomach nerve. The device is called the Maestro Rechargeable System. It is made by EnteroMedics Inc. It is implanted in the chest, usually in an outpatient procedure. The device has electrical wires that are placed around the vagus nerve. This nerve helps to control hunger. Signals are sent to the nerve at fixed times to decrease hunger pangs and make the person feel full. The Food and Drug Administration approved the device for use in severely obese adults. They may have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 35, plus at least one medical condition linked with obesity, or at least 40 without another condition. In a study, people with the Maestro implant lost about 8.5% more weight than those with fake implants.

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