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Local doctor creates device that could change the future of weight loss

Posted at 8:37 AM, Jul 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-14 16:05:44-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich-- It's a temporary and reversible bariatric device that's not currently on the market, but it's certainly on its way.

Normally, when we think of weight loss procedures, we think gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery. Both of those surgeries are highly invasive, helping less than one percent of eligible patients, according to Dr. Randal Baker of Grand Health Partners.

This new device is temporary, non-invasive and said to combat obesity, fight diabetes and other health issues all at the same time. It's an alternative to bariatric surgery for extremely overweight patients and the device's creator is a Grand Rapids native.

Dr. Baker, a physician, and surgeon at Grand Health Partners says the idea came to him about a decade ago. He describes it as one of those "ah-ha" moments.

"Once I came up with the idea I thought, well, that somebody must have thought of this, or that this it really isn’t rocket science," Baker said.

After applying for patents, researching, and working on designs, he came up with his Full Sense Device. The device places pressure on the top of the stomach and triggers signals and hormones. It's designed to make you feel full in the absence of food, which helps people lose weight. It's flexible, durable and easy to put in and or remove.

The concept of this device is that it goes down through the mouth. It doesn't require an incision. The Full Sense Device is compressed down a skinny tube called an endoscope. Once it's in the right spot, it pops into place. All of this happens in 15 minutes or less.

Dr. Baker says more than 100 patients have tried this device. On average, patients lost an average of 70 percent of their extra weight in six months. Patients will continue to lose weight as long as the device is in place.

Compared to bariatric surgery, the cost of the Full Sense Device is significantly less.

This device is not yet approved by the FDA and will not be performed in the U.S. for a few years. Currently, Dr. Baker is going through the regulatory process.