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New Procedures


Vagal Blocking Therapy

EnteroMedic's VBLOC Therapy is the only commercially available treatment for obesity which is designed to target perceptions of hunger and fullness, and the many physiological effects of the vagus nerves.

The Vagus Nerve

The vagus nerve regulates many activities in the human body, affecting digestion and activities of the stomach, intestine and pancreas, providing direct two-way communication between the brain and body. Vagus nerve function has been shown to play a role in enabling multiple gastrointestinal and metabolic mechanisms.

VBLOC Therapy

VBLOC Therapy intermittently blocks intra-abdominal vagus nerve signals--or transmission of messages involving food intake and processing--between the brain and stomach. A pacemaker-like implant called the Maestro Rechargeable System powers the energy for blocking the vagus nerve.

Minimally Invasive

VBLOC Therapy involves a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure that preserves normal digestive system anatomy. The Maestro Rechargeable System, which delivers VBLOC Therapy, is implanted and non-invasively programmed by a physician to best meet the individual patient's needs. This device can be adjusted, deactivated, reactivated, or completely removed if desired.

Power to choose

People who choose VBLOC Therapy maintain control of their lifestyle while being supported in their effort to lose weight as the device forms part of a comprehensive weight loss management program. With no food restrictions or associated nutritional deficiencies, VBLOC Therapy equips people to address the significant behavioural, lifestyle and social challenges associated with this chronic disease. As a breakthrough development in the treatment of obesity, VBLOC Therapy encourages and supports prolonged healthy choices to support weight loss without physical restriction.

Implantation Procedure

The Maestro Rechargeable System is implanted by a bariatric surgeon using a procedure that is typically performed within 60-90 minutes. The surgeon laparoscopically implants the electrodes in contact with the vagal nerve trunks and then connects the lead wires to the neuroregulator, which is subcutaneously implanted.


The effect of VBLOC Therapy on controlling obesity has been studied at several select centres within and outside the US. In Australia, Circle of Care has been involved in early clinical trials such as the Empower Study, which showed a 37% excess weight loss at 12 months for patients receiving greater than 12 hours of VBLOC therapy per day. These findings report that VBLOC Therapy is a safe and effective alternative to the known complications associated with existing approaches to obesity surgery.

Unlike the majority of existing surgical obesity treatments, normal digestive system anatomy is preserved. It is also intended to reduce the burden related to lifestyle, follow-up and food choice that exists with many available treatments. Other benefits include:

  • Favourable Safety Profile
  • Successful and Sustained Weight Loss
  • Positive Healthy Path
  • No surgical alteration of the anatomy of the stomach or intestines
  • The Maestro System can be deactivated, reactivated or completely removed if desired

Risks of VBLOC Therapy and the Maestro Rechargeable System

The implantation procedure and usage of the Maestro Rechargeable System carry some risks, such as the risks generally associated with laparoscopic procedures as well as the possibility of device malfunction. Adverse events related to the therapy, device, or procedure may include, but are not limited to: pain, heartburn, constipation, nausea, depression, diarrhoea, infection, organ or nerve damage, surgical explant or revision, device movement, device malfunction and allergic reaction to the implant.

The Vbloc procedure is now available in Australia and we are one of the few clinics that can offer it to patients now. For more information on the procedure and costs please contact our office on 02 8711-0134. With a GP referral, Dr Roy Brancatisano can see you for a bulk billed assessment to discuss the procedure in detail.

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