Advances in Healthcare / Healthy Weighs

First Off the Block with vBloc A Revolutionary Weight-loss Innovation

Roper St. Francis is First Off the Block with vBloc A Revolutionary Weight-loss Innovation

A mature woman walking her dog on the beach

Good news for those looking to shed pounds and improve their health in the New Year. A revolutionary and exciting surgical weight-loss option is coming to Charleston, and Roper St. Francis is proud to be first in the state to offer this promising therapy. vBloc therapy, which was FDA approved in January 2015, is a new approach that focuses on blocking hunger signals from the brain rather than surgically altering the stomach and digestive system, as traditional bariatric surgery does.

The vBloc is basically a pacemaker-like device that regulates signals from the brain’s vagus nerve to the stomach, which control digestion and hunger signals that can lead to overeating. The procedure is an outpatient, non-invasive surgery that involves laparoscopic placement of a neuro-regulator device in the abdomen. Doctors program and adjust the device to alter the ability for the stomach and the brain to communicate normally, and over time, this results in decreased hunger and positive body composition change.

device for vBloc Therapy

The benefits of vBloc include:

  • No permanent surgical changes to the patient’s anatomy and minimal side effects.
  • Therapy that can be tailored to the specific patient and his/her needs and goals.
  • Average weight loss up to 30% of a patient’s body weight, which can decrease a person’s risk for diabetes by 50% and significantly reduce blood pressure.

To qualify for the device, one must have a BMI of 35 to 39.9, with an obesity-associated comorbidity such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol or obstructive sleep apnea, or a BMI between 40 and 45. At a BMI of 40 or more, a person’s risk for adverse effects due to obesity alone is qualification for the procedure.

As with most new surgical devices and procedures, insurance coverage is sparse during the initial implementation. So for most patients, the vBloc is available currently as a self-pay option, although some financing options are available through the Roper St. Francis bariatrics program. For more information, please call (843) 958-2590 or visit our vBloc program page.



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