VBLOC Therapy by EnteroMedics

ASMBS Issues Position Statement on VBLOC for Obesity

VBLOC Therapy by EnteroMedics The American Society For Metabolic And Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) recently issued a Position Statement on Vagal Blocking Therapy for Obesity.

VBLOC, or Vagal Blocking Therapy, is a new therapy for weight loss that uses an implantable, pacemaker-like device to intermittently disrupt the vagus nerve signaling between the brain and the stomach, affecting perceptions of hunger and fullness.

The VBLOC device, the Maestro Rechargeable System, was developed by EnteroMedics of St. Paul, Minnesota. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January 2015.

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Weight Loss Plan

(Another) Study Debunks Benefits of Insurance Mandated Weight Loss Programs

Weight Loss Programs Insurance mandated weight management programs as a prerequisite for approval for bariatric surgery did not prove to benefit weight loss outcomes in patients, according to a study published online last month in Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases.

Patient participation in a medical weight management program prior to bariatric surgery is required by many insurance companies before approval is granted for coverage.

The supposed benefit of this prerequisite is that it improves post-op outcomes and compliance, however there is much debate about whether or not this belief is supported by evidence.
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Rapid Rise

The Rapid Rise of Sleeve Gastrectomy

Rapid Rise ChartSleeve gastrectomy emerged as the top bariatric procedure in America in 2013, according to new estimates from the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

The ASMBS numbers showed that 179,000 bariatric procedures were performed last year; 42.1% of the procedures were sleeve gastrectomy, 34.2% were gastric bypass, 14% were gastric banding, 1% were biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch, and about 6% were revisions.

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Band to Sleeve Revision

Reversal of Lap-Band to Sleeve Gastrectomy Attractive Option

Band to Sleeve RevisionSleeve gastrectomy is an attractive option when complications or failure of weight loss occurs after Lap-Band surgery, according to results from a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

The Lap-Band has a proven track record for the majority of patients, yet for some it does not lead to a successful outcome. Complications or unsatisfactory weight loss may lead a patient to consider other options, including revision to another bariatric procedure.

One alternative that is quickly becoming popular among patients who are struggling with the Lap-Band is a revision to sleeve gastrectomy. This study shows that the laparoscopic removal of the Lap-Band and reversal to sleeve gastrectomy is a safe and feasible option.

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Body Weight Scale

Sleeve Gastrectomy Compares Favorably to Bypass and Band

Body Weight ScaleA study presented at the 29th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) shows that sleeve gastrectomy, a newer type of bariatric surgery that reduces the size of the stomach by 60 to 80 percent, compares favorably to gastric bypass and adjustable gastric banding for complications and weight loss.

While study findings support sleeve gastrectomy as a safe and effective option for a primary bariatric procedure, the purpose of the study was to assist the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in their determination of coverage regarding sleeve gastrectomy by providing comparative evidence regarding bariatric surgery.

We will soon find out if the data is sufficient to convince CMS to provide coverage, as their final decision is expected at the end of the week.

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ASMBS Gastric Sleeve Position Statement

ASMBS Updates Position Statement on Sleeve Gastrectomy

ASMBS Gastric Sleeve Policy StatementThe American Society For Metabolic And Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) recently issued an Updated Position Statement on Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy as a Bariatric Procedure.

The ASMBS statement highlights the “substantial comparative and long-term data now published in the peer-reviewed literature demonstrating durable weight loss, improved medical comorbidities, long-term patient satisfaction, and improved quality of life after SG (Sleeve Gastrectomy).”

As a result, the ASMBS “recognizes sleeve gastrectomy as an acceptable option as a primary bariatric procedure and as a first stage procedure in high risk patients as part of a planned staged approach.”

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Bariatric Coverage

Fight for Bariatric Coverage as Essential Benefit

Bariatric CoverageThe Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) is in Washington DC today to host a Congressional Briefing on obesity treatment and to urge Senate offices to sign the Akaka/Inouye letter to HHS supporting coverage of obesity treatment in the essential benefits package.

The OAC briefing being presented is entitled “Often Stigmatized, Rarely Treated, Affecting Millions — The Complexity of Obesity and Why Prevention Isn’t Enough.” It focuses on the latest news and advances in the treatment of obesity and the barriers facing patients seeking such treatment.

In addition, OAC members will visit Senate offices to encourage them to join Senators Daniel Akaka (D-HI) and Daniel Inouye (D-HI) in sending a letter to the Obama Administration urging Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to include coverage for comprehensive obesity treatment services in the essential benefit package that HHS is developing for the new state based health exchange plans.

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Bariatric Surgery Risk Factors

Top Six Risk Factors for Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric Surgery Risk FactorsA new study from the University of California at Irvine evaluated data from more than 100,000 bariatric surgery patients and identified the top six risk factors for bariatric surgery.

While researchers agree that bariatric surgery is safer than ever, they also realize that individual risk varies. The study showed that a patient with one or more of the risk factors had an increased risk of non-survival before discharge from the hospital.

The researchers say knowing the risk factors can help doctors and patients as the information may influence the choice of weight loss procedure, provide a better understanding of individual risk, and further increase safety of bariatric surgery.

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Bariatric Surgery for Super-Obese

Sleeve Gastrectomy in Super-Obese Patients

Bariatric Surgery for Super-ObeseLaparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is safe and effective for the initial weight loss in the super-obese undergoing staged bariatric procedures, according to a recently published article in Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, the Official Journal of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

Typically there are many challenging aspects associated with the surgical treatment of super-obese patients (BMI is 50 or higher), which may delay or prevent treatment for those who need it most. Based on study conclusions, it appears that laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy offers the potential of a promising outcome even for individuals who are extremely overweight.

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ASMBS Gastric Plication Policy Statement

ASMBS Issues Policy Statement on Gastric Plication

ASMBS Gastric Plication Policy StatementThe American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery has issued a policy statement on gastric plication as a surgical treatment for obesity.

Gastric plication, also known as laparoscopic gastric plication or laparoscopic greater curvature plication, is a new bariatric procedure gaining attention and popularity worldwide. The operation involves folding and stitching the stomach to reduce food intake and enable weight loss.

Gastric plication does not involve any sectioning off, removing, or rerouting of the stomach or intestines, or placement of a gastric band system into the body. It is a minimally-invasive, reversible, low-risk, and low-cost alternative to other bariatric surgeries.

The potential benefits of gastric plication in regards to safety and cost make it an appealing surgical weight loss option. To address the interest and inquiries regarding this procedure, the ASMBS has made the following recommendations:

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