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Tufts Medical Center Performs First Commercial Implant of Novel Obesity Therapy

05/20/2015
BOSTON (May 20) – Tufts Medical Center has successfully performed the first-ever commercial implant of the vBloc® Neurometabolic Therapy System in the United States. Produced by EnteroMedics Inc., vBloc uses neuroblocking technology to combat obesity by intermittently obstructing the signals sent to the brain by the vagus nerve, which transmits messages involving food intake and processing between the brain and stomach.

A member of the team that initially brought the new device through the clinical trial phase, Sajani Shah, MD, General and Bariatric Surgeon at Tufts Medical Center, performed the procedure on Wednesday, May 13, 2015. The surgery went as planned; the patient returned home the same day and is recovering well. 

“At Tufts Medical Center, we are committed to staying on the leading edge of new technologies that may benefit our patients,” said Dr. Shah. “Until recently, there was a great unmet need for new, alternative treatment options for obese patients for whom behavior modification, pharmaceutical options or anatomy altering/restricting surgical procedures either did not work, or were not viable options. Unlike traditional surgical weight loss options, vBloc Therapy offers a neuroscience-based approach to the treatment of obesity.” 

In January, 2015, vBloc Therapy was FDA approved for use in adults with a BMI of 40 to 45; in people with a BMI of 35 to 39.9 with a related health condition, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels; and in patients who have tried to lose weight in a supervised weight management program within the past five years. 

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About Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children
Tufts Medical Center is an exceptional, not-for-profit, 415-bed academic medical center that is home to both a full-service hospital for adults and Floating Hospital for Children. Conveniently located in downtown Boston, the Medical Center is the principal teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine. Floating Hospital for Children is the full-service children's hospital of Tufts Medical Center and the principal pediatric teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine. Tufts Medical Center is affiliated with the New England Quality Care Alliance, a network of more than 1,800 physicians throughout Eastern Massachusetts. For more information, please visit www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org

About EnteroMedics Inc.
EnteroMedics is a medical device company focused on the development and commercialization of its neuroscience based technology to treat obesity and metabolic diseases. vBloc® Neurometabolic Therapy, delivered by a pacemaker-like device called the Maestro® Rechargeable System, is designed to intermittently block the vagus nerves using high-frequency, low-energy, electrical impulses. EnteroMedics' Maestro Rechargeable System has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval, CE Mark and is listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods. 

Media Contact: 
Jeremy Lechan
617-636-0104
jlechan@tuftsmedicalcenter.org