Gastric Pacemaker

What is the Gastric Pacemaker for Weight Loss?

The gastric pacemaker for weight loss is called abilti®. It is a very different way for life-style change and weight control. It is based on technology that was developed for heart pacemakers.

The abilti® system has three parts:

  1. A wire (electrode) that is placed on your stomach. The electrode placement is a simple procedure that is done by laparoscopy.
  2. The pacemaker box that is placed beneath the skin of your abdominal [tummy] wall. The pacemaker is about the size of a large pocket-watch.
  3. The software programme in the pacemaker that can be adjusted by wireless technology.

How does abilti® work?

abilti® can detect when food or drink enters your stomach. The software is programmed to set regular mealtimes and other times when food is not allowed. If you eat during a not-allowed period, the system immediately sends electrical impulses to your stomach. These impulses stimulate nerves in the wall of your stomach. The nerves, in turn, send messages to the food-control centre in the brain to curb your appetite. Over time, the negative feedback can change your behaviour so that you may not even want to eat irregularly. During a programmed mealtime, the system sends impulses of lower intensity. You get full quickly with a healthy, balanced meal. Also, abilti® has an inbuilt sensor that continuously records your intake of food or drink and your physical activity. The information about food and activity can be wirelessly uploaded from the stimulator on to computer. We can then use this information to adjust the programme according to your individual pattern. Finally, you will have access . This portal allows you to track personal eating and exercise performance, set and achieve goals, receive individual coaching, access educational resources, and develop a valuable support network.

How much weight can I lose with abilti®?

abilti® is new technology, so information is very limited. You can lose 20-40% of your excess weight.

Is abilti® permanent?

abilti® can be used for as long as is necessary. The gastric pacemaker can be switched off by wireless technology, leaving the actual hardware in place. If necessary, the entire system can be removed without any permanent alteration or damage to your body. The pacemaker has a battery-life of five years. The battery-change is a simple procedure that can be done under local anaesthesia.

What is the follow-up care for abilti®?

Regular follow-up is very important. During the follow-up visit, the information on food intake and activity, stored in the abilti® stimulator, will be uploaded to the programming computer. Based on the stored information and your experience, the stimulator programme can be adjusted. Follow-up appointments will be made every 6-8 weeks during the first year after placement of abilti®. The follow-up schedule will be tailored to your individual needs.

Are there any restrictions with abiliti?

There are no restrictions on activity. You should make all doctors aware that you have a stomach stimulator before undergoing any investigation or procedure. MRI scans are not allowed.


Print this page | Last updated: 11/01/2017

Video: Animation of Gastric Electrical Stimulation