A weight loss device that takes food out of a person’s stomach has been approved for use in the US.
The device is called the ‘Aspire Assist’ and research has found that patients who used the system lost 12.% of their total body weight on average, compared to just 3.6% for the control patients.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the device as a way of managing obesity.
The system means that after every meal, users will pump the food out of their stomach with the aid of a surgically placed tube.
Aspire Assist can now be used by people aged 22 and over who have failed in their attempts to achieve and maintain weight loss through non surgical methods and whose body mass index is between 35 and 55.
However patients who suffer from eating disorders are not permitted to use the device, while manufacturers have also stressed that it should not be used for moderately overweight people who want a quick fix.
When fitting the device, surgeons make a small incision in the abdomen before inserting a tube through this incision and then a port valve is fitted flush against the skin of the abdomen.
Around 20 to 30 minutes after every meal the patient connects the device’s external connector to the valve to remove some of the contents of their stomach into a toilet. It is estimated that this process should take around five to 10 minutes on average and will remove around 30% of calories consumed.
However there have been some adverse effects related to the use of the device including diarrhoea, constipation, vomiting and indigestion. Meanwhile the risks associated with the device’s surgical placement include death, stomach punctures, pneumonia, stomach sores, breathing difficulties, infection, bleeding and sore throat.
Patients who use the Aspire Assist device will need to be monitored frequently by a health care professional to reduce the length of the tube as they lose weight.