UCI Health offers recently approved implantable obesity treatment

Maestro Rechargeable System disrupts appetite signals between brain and stomach

February 25, 2015

UCI Health is the first health system in Orange County to offer a new implantable device that treats obesity by suppressing the appetite communication signals between the brain and stomach.

The Maestro Rechargeable System sends intermittent electronic pulses along the vagus nerve, the pathway between the brain and the stomach that controls feelings of hunger and fullness. By blocking this nerve pathway, Maestro reduces feelings of hunger and promotes earlier feelings of fullness.

Consisting of a rechargeable electrical pulse generator, wire leads and electrodes, Maestro received FDA approval in January, the first weight loss device to do so since 2007. Through a minimally invasive laparoscopic technique, bariatric surgeons implant the leads just above the stomach and the regulator under the skin near the ribcage.

External controls enable patients to charge the device and health care professionals to customize electronic pulse rates in order to meet individual weight loss needs. The system can also be deactivated, reactivated or completely removed if desired.

“Obesity is a major public health problem, affecting more than one-third of all adults in the U.S.,” said Dr. Ninh T. Nguyen, chief of the UCI Health Division of Gastrointestinal Surgery. “Maestro expands the range of treatment options currently available, and is a less invasive procedure than surgical alteration of the digestive system. We welcome the opportunity to offer Maestro as an option for our patients.”

The FDA approved Maestro for patients who are 18 or older, with a body mass index between 35 and 45, and also have an additional obesity-related condition, such as type 2 diabetes.

UCI Health bariatric surgeons Nguyen and Dr. Brian Smith also specialize in Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, vertical sleeve gastrectomy and adjustable gastric banding.

For more information visit our Bariatric Surgery Services page or call 888-717-4463.

UCI Health comprises the clinical, medical education and research enterprises of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access UCI Health at physician offices throughout Orange County and at its main campus, UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, Calif., a 412-bed acute care hospital that provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health and rehabilitation. U.S. News & World Report has listed it among America’s Best Hospitals for 14 consecutive years. UC Irvine Medical Center features Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program, Level I trauma center and Level II pediatric trauma center, and is the primary teaching hospital for UC Irvine School of Medicine. UCI Health serves a region of more than 3 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 28,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. Located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities, it’s Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $4.8 billion annually to the local economy.


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