The FDA has just approved the AspireAssist device from AspireBariatrics which, when we first learned of it, seemed like a joke. Alas, what looked like a high tech way of enabling bulimia has proven itself effective for weight loss in obese patients.
Simply put, the AspireAssist provides a channel for stomach contents to be emptied before the nutrients are absorbed further down in the GI system. A tube is placed within the stomach that connects to a port on the belly. About twenty minutes after ingesting food the patient connects an external component that includes a water bottle to the port. The patient then stands over a toilet, opens a valve, and lets the stomach empty itself. Squeezing the water bottle forces the water to enter the stomach in order to stir up its contents and to drain more out. This can be repeated until desired results are achieved.
The AspireAssist is intended to be used along with a diet and exercise regimen and is not meant for people with existing eating disorders.
Though we’re skeptical, the FDA’s approval was based on a study involving 111 patients using the AspireAssist and 60 controls. Comparing the two groups, the folks with the AspireAssist lost on average 12.1% of their body weight versus 3.6% in the control group.
Here’s an animation explaining how the AspireAssist works:
Here’s video explaining the placement procedure:
Product page: AspireAssist…