ASMBS Highlights New Developments in Bariatric Surgery
A record-breaking attendance at 2010's meeting of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery marked the growing interest in new ways to address the issue of obesity. Currently, less than 1% of a potential US patient population of 15 million who might benefit from bariatric surgery actually undergo the procedure, and surgeons are scrambling to understand why and to identify new, less invasive approaches that might help them better penetrate this enormous patient pool.
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A new position statement from the International Diabetes Federation that endorses bariatric surgery as a medically indicated therapeutic option for diabetes represents an important philosophical shift for this field, according to Francesco Rubino, MD, chief of gastrointestinal metabolic surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College.
The market for obesity products has blockbuster potential, but it’s proven an elusive target for the medical device industry. The challenging regulatory environment, weak economy, and skittish investors have slowed the number of product launches in recent years, and there have been some high-profile setbacks for several potential weight loss therapies. But now, a "back to basics" movement, focused on understanding the physiological triggers behind obesity rather than simply restricting food intake, hopes to spur development of more effective minimally invasive weight loss solutions.
Implantable neurostimulation devices have the potential to ameliorate a number of debilitating conditions in which neural pathways play a role. Combined, these applications are expected to bring in device revenues of nearly $1.4 billion in the US alone in 2010, and that number is forecast to increase by double-digits going forward, reaching over $2.6 billion by 2014, according to Medtech Insight's recently published report, "US Markets for Neurostimulation Products."