VA North Texas First VA in the Country to Perform vBloc Implant, a Cutting-Edge Weight Loss Therapy

Jun 03, 2015, 08:00 ET from VA North Texas Health Care System

DALLAS, June 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- VA North Texas Health Care System announces another first today with the successful patient implant of vBloc, a technology-based, scientifically advanced 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 on Thursday, May 28, 2015 by Dr. Sachin Kukreja, Director, Bariatric Surgery, 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."

About the VA North Texas Health Care System

VA North Texas Health Care System is a progressive health care provider in the heart of Texas. Poised as VA's second largest health care system, we serve over 117, 000 Veterans and deliver 1.4 million outpatient episodes of care each year to Veterans in 38 Texas counties and two counties in southern Oklahoma. We have 5,000 employees and 1,700 community volunteers who are driven by the passion to serve at Dallas VA Medical Center, Sam Rayburn Memorial Veterans Center, Fort Worth Outpatient Clinic, Tyler VA Primary Care Clinic, Polk Street VA Clinic and five community based outpatient clinics.


Information about the Maestro® Rechargeable System and vBloc® Therapy

You should not have an implanted Maestro Rechargeable System if you have cirrhosis of the liver, high blood pressure in the veins of the liver, enlarged veins in your esophagus or a significant hiatal hernia; if you need magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); if you have a permanently implanted, electrical medical device; or if you need a diathermy procedure using heat.  The most common related adverse events that were experienced during clinical study of the Maestro System included pain, heartburn, nausea, difficulty swallowing, belching, wound redness or irritation, and constipation.

Talk with your doctor about the full risks and benefits of vBloc Therapy and the Maestro Rechargeable System. For additional prescribing information or to learn more about vBloc Therapy, please visit or call 1-800-MY-VBLOC.

SOURCE VA North Texas Health Care System