Effect of Vagal Nerve Blockade on Moderate Obesity with an Obesity-Related Comorbid Condition: the ReCharge Study

John M. Morton, Sajani N. Shah, Bruce M. Wolfe, Caroline M. Apovian, Christopher J. Miller, Katherine S. Tweden, Charles J. Billington, Scott A. Shikora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background: Vagal nerve blockade (vBloc) therapy was shown to be a safe and effective treatment for moderate to severe obesity. This report summarizes the safety and efficacy of vBloc therapy in the prespecified subgroup of patients with moderate obesity. Methods: The ReCharge Trial is a double-blind, randomized controlled clinical trial of participants with body mass index (BMI) of 40–45 or 35–40 kg/m2 with at least one obesity-related comorbid condition. Participants were randomized 2:1 to implantation with either a vBloc or sham device with weight management counseling. Eighty-four subjects had moderate obesity (BMI 35–40 kg/m2) at randomization. Results: Fifty-three participants were randomized to vBloc and 31 to sham. Qualifying obesity-related comorbidities included dyslipidemia (73 %), hypertension (58 %), sleep apnea (33 %), and type 2 diabetes (8 %). The vBloc group achieved a percentage excess weight loss (%EWL) of 33 % (11 % total weight loss (%TWL)) compared to 19 % EWL (6 % TWL) with sham at 12 months (treatment difference 14 percentage points, 95 % CI, 7–22; p < 0.0001). Common adverse events of vBloc through 12 months were heartburn/dyspepsia and implant site pain; the majority of events were reported as mild or moderate. Conclusions: vBloc therapy resulted in significantly greater weight loss than the sham control among participants with moderate obesity and comorbidities with a well-tolerated safety profile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)983-989
Number of pages7
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Active implantable medical device
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • Moderate obesity
  • Obesity
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Vagal nerve blocking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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