Weight loss op uses device to curb appetite

Posted at 8:09 PM, Jan 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-28 20:10:06-05

If you've ever considered weight loss surgery but don't want an invasive procedure, a new operation may be able to help you. A doctor at Florida Hospital Tampa is the first in Florida to use this new technology.

"It'll be fun to see what the grandkids think as I slowly reduce in size," Myra Rupert said. "I just kept reading and saying, this is almost too good to be true."

She is the first person in Florida to get the V Bloc device for weight loss. Her doctor said it's like a pacemaker that gets implanted under the skin, but this attached to the vagal nerve that controls appetite.

"When that nerve is blocked, patients actually get a sense that they're either not hungry or they're full with a smaller amount of food," Dr. John Dietrick said.

It's an out-patient procedure, all done laproscopically. Dr. Dietrick said it's much safer than other weight loss surgeries.

"There's not cutting of those organs; there's simply a placement of electrodes on the vagas nerve," he said.

The doctor said according to the FDA, people lose an average of 30 to 40 pounds with V Bloc.

It's not an easy fix. Patients still need to put in the work, like good nutrition and exercise. But this is giving Rupert the extra help she needs, even a day later.

"It's turned the very lowest, but I'm really not hungry. It's wonderful," she said.

V Bloc isn't covered by insurance. The device stays in your body for life. This costs about $30,000. You need to have a BMI between 35 and 45 to qualify.