VA North Texas Health Care System
Dallas VAMC First VA to Perform vBloc Implant
VA North Texas Health Care System is the first VA in the country to perform vBloc implant, a cutting-edge weight loss therapy. vBloc is a pacemaker-like implant called the Maestro® Rechargeable System that intermittently blocks intra-abdominal vagus nerve signals or transmission of messages involving food intake and processing between the brain and stomach. The Maestro System is wireless and customizable to meet the needs of a patient’s changing lifestyle. The implant is minimally invasive and performed as an out-patient procedure that does not alter or restrict the patient’s anatomy.
The procedure was performed May 28, 2015 by Dr. Sachin Kukreja, Director of Bariatric Surgery at VA North Texas, and the patient is recovering well.
In January of this year, the Maestro System was approved for use in adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 to 45 kg/m2 or a BMI of 35 to 39.9 kg/m2 with a related health condition such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels, and who have tried to lose weight in a supervised weight management program within the past five years.
There are currently many options for patients trying to lose weight. Some involve behavior modification, others involve pharmaceuticals or even surgery. For patients pursuing surgery, the vBloc therapy allows patients to have successful surgical weight loss, without the need for anatomy alterations or the food restrictions that accompany the other operations. This opens a new door in the surgical weight loss arena,” said Dr. Kukreja. “Earlier this year, the FDA approved this first-of-its-kind treatment that offers a neuroscience-based approach to the treatment of obesity, differentiating it from traditional weight loss surgical options.”
“The Veterans Health Administration and VA North Texas are committed to improving the health and well-being of Veterans through health care innovation,” said Dr. Jeffrey Hastings, Interim Chief of Staff at VA North Texas. “By incorporating treatment options into our practice like vBloc Therapy, which is on the leading edge of science and technology, we are fulfilling that promise.”