The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a weight loss stomach device that pumps food directly out of a person’s stomach after they eat. The device was marked with the FDA stamp of approval on June 14, 2016.
According to USA Today, the device, called the AspireAssist, should only be used by adults over the age of 22 who are obese. There are more than 200,000 surgeries performed for weight loss in the U.S. each year, and AspireAssist should only be used when all other methods have been tried.
Science Alert reports that the device is being marketed as a cheaper, less invasive, and easier method of treatment than bariatric surgery.
“The AspireAssist approach helps effectively control calorie absorption,” said William Maisel, chief scientist at the FDA’s Centre for Devices and Radiological Health. “Patients need to be regularly monitored by their health-care provider and should follow a lifestyle program to help them develop healthier eating habits and red their calorie intake.”
The device is placed after a surgeon makes a small incision and endoscopically puts a tube inside the patient’s stomach. The tube is attached to a disk-shaped port that lies outside the stomach. The contents of the stomach are then drained and then 20 or 30 minutes after a patient has finished eating, an external connector is attached which can open the valve and begin the draining process.
The draining process takes about five to 10 minutes to remove the food from the stomach into the toilet, but wholly 30% of the calories consumed during that mean can be completely removed.
Maisel noted that patients should still be carefully monitored while using the device for weight loss.
“The device requires frequent trips to the doctor to shorten the tube as the patient loses weight,” Maisel said, “and has a safety feature that automatically stops working after 115 cycles, to ensure patients actually do make it to their healthcare professional.”
The AspireAssist, developed by Aspire Bariatrics of King of Prussia, PA, is currently available in Europe.