Long-term Effect of Percutaneous Electrical Neurostimulation of Dermatome T6 for Appetite Reduction and Weight Loss in Obese Patients

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Introduction:A continuous feeling of hunger is the major cause of dietary treatment failure and the patients abandon the diet. A previous study of our group demonstrated that percutaneous electrical neurostimulation (PENS) of T6 dermatome induces an appetite reduction and significantly greater weight loss compared with only diet as a preoperative measure in morbidly obese patients who are candidates for bariatric surgery. The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term effect of this therapy.Patients and Methods:A prospective study was performed, including obese patients with a body mass index between 30 and 40 kg/m2 undergoing PENS of dermatome T6. Weight loss, dietary compliance, and appetite were assessed before the treatment, after 12 weeks of treatment, and 3 and 9 months after completing the therapy.Results:A total of 150 patients were included in the study. A mean weight loss of 11.8±2.6 kg was obtained after 12 weeks of treatment. Three months after completing the therapy, mean weight loss was 14.6±2.7 kg and 9 months after completing the treatment mean weight loss was 14.5±2.8 kg. Median appetite perception quantified by Visual Analogue Scale was 6 before the treatment, 1 after completing the treatment, 1 at 3 months after completing the treatment, and 4 at 9 months after completing the treatment. Dietary compliance after 12 weeks of treatment was 90%, 84% at 3 months after completing the treatment, and 62% at 9 months after completing the treatment.Conclusion:PENS of dermatome T6 achieves a significant appetite reduction, which is maintained 3 months after completing the therapy. Later, the patients’ appetite is restored, but they do not regain the weight lost.

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