New weight loss procedure sucks food out of your stomach

aspireassist weight loss system

A new alternative to bariatric surgery for weight loss has received Food and Drug Administration approval.

It’s called the AspireAssist system and it’s designed for adults with a Body Mass Index of 35 to 55 for whom more conservative weight loss therapies haven’t worked. (The Centers for Disease Control considers a BMI of 30 or higher to be “obese”).  The company says its studies show patients lost an average of 46 pounds after using the system for a year.

A doctor uses an endoscope to place a thin tube into a patient’s stomach.  This tube is connected to a small button on the outside of the patient’s stomach.  After each meal the patient uses a handheld device, about the size of a smart phone, to activate the AspireAssist system.  Then, before the food can be absorbed by the stomach, the system pumps about a third of the meal through the tube and into the toilet.  The process takes about 5 or 10 minutes in the bathroom. The manufacturer, Aspire Bariatrics, says that because only a third of the meal is removed the body still receives the calories that it needs.

Outpatient procedure

The manufacturer of the weight loss system says its  device is implanted in a 15-minute outpatient procedure, which is fully reversible and doesn’t alter the patient’s internal anatomy.  The system is intended for long-term use and is designed to be used in conjunction with diet, exercise counseling and close medical monitoring.

“With less than 1% of the 25 million Americans with BMIs over 35, availing themselves of bariatric surgery each year, there is clearly a need for a non-surgical weight loss procedure that is effective, safe, and reversible,” says Dr. Christopher Thompsoon of the Harvard Medical School.   “AspireAssist therapy satisfies this need and additionally offers a lower cost solution to the healthcare system.”


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Ed Tobias
Ed Tobias brings more than four decades of reporting and news management experience to his work at Rx411. Tobias managed news coverage for Associated Press Radio for over twenty years. This included coverage of the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Princess Diana, the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters and national election primaries, conventions and campaigns. He was part of the team that built AP’s on-line video operation. Prior to joining AP, Tobias was News Director at all-news WTOP in Washington, D.C.