The Weight Loss Device That Has People Talking

By: Bel Marra Health | Diets | Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 10:57 AM

Fat CheckIf you’re one of those people that think that weight loss is a good thing, even when it’s not completely healthy weight loss, you may be attracted to a new product that will allow you to eat anything as part of your diet while still achieving your weight loss goals.  The AspireAssist is a new device that helps you to achieve weight loss by draining your body of approximately 30% of the food that you consume in your diet.

New Gadget for Weight Loss

The AspireAssist was invented by Dr. Sam Klein, Dr. Moshe Shike( both are gastroenterologists) and Dr. Stephen Soloman (an interventional radiologist). The AspireAssist is a device that was designed to help control the obesity epidemic by helping patients achieve their weight loss goals, using a method called “aspiration therapy”.  Currently, the AspireAssist has not received FDA approval and is currently in clinical trials in the United States; however, it is available in certain parts of Europe.

How it Helps to Achieve Weight Loss

The AspireAssist involves implanting an A-tube into a patient’s stomach which connects to a small port at the surface of the skin. The port has a valve that can be switched on or off to control movement of stomach contents. If a patient wants to empty their stomach contents, they attach a handheld device to their port. 20 minutes after eating, the AspireAssist allows an individual to empty the food that they consume in their diet straight into the toilet via the tube that is connected to their port.  The emptying takes approximately 5-10 minutes to complete.  Essentially, patients can consume a regular diet without absorbing all of the calories.   The makers of AspireAssist state that the weight loss device should be used in conjunction with lifestyle modification and comprehensive medical monitoring.

The Benefits to Weight Loss

With the levels of obesity on the rise worldwide, the AspireAssist is marketed as a more desirable option for weight loss compared to traditional gastric bypass surgeries.  AspireAssist is a less expensive and less invasive weight loss solution when compared to gastric bypass surgery. The insertion of the A-Tube takes approximately 20 minutes and is done under conscious sedation so the risk of general anesthesia isn’t a factor.  The patient can usually leave the office within 1-2 hours following the procedure.  The makers of AspireAssist state that no immediate changes to a patients’ diet are needed; however, they report that healthy eating behaviours will be developed overtime through lifestyle counselling.  Lastly, the makers of AspireAssist report that the device is completely reversible which may be appealing for individuals that want to try a new approach to weight loss but who don’t want to undergo invasive surgeries.
The AspireAssist is less expensive and invasive than traditional weight loss surgeries; however, it may not provide healthy weight loss.  While the makers of AspireAssist state that it should be used in conjunction with lifestyle counselling and medical monitoring, patients may not always follow what’s recommended.   In order to achieve healthy weight loss, patients have to adopt healthy changes into their overall lifestyle and not rely on a quick fix.  Healthy lifestyle changes including eating a diet that is healthy and nutritious, exercising regularly and taking control of other aspects of their healthcare.  It is also important to keep in mind that this device has not been approved in North America.  Until future research is conducted on the efficacy and safety of this device, patients should rely on lifestyle changes for healthy weight loss.

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