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Novel Obesity Device Drains Stomach Contents

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 28 Jun 2016
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Image: The AspireAssist obesity device (Photo courtesy of Aspire Bariatrics).
Image: The AspireAssist obesity device (Photo courtesy of Aspire Bariatrics).
A new obesity treatment device uses a surgically placed tube to aspirate a portion of the stomach contents after every meal.

The AspireAssist obesity device is a tube that connects the stomach to a disk-shaped port valve that lies flush against the abdomen. Approximately 20-30 minutes after a meal, the patient attaches the device's external connector and tubing to the port valve to drain stomach contents. Once opened, it takes approximately five to 10 minutes to drain food matter through the tube and into a toilet. On average, the device removes approximately 30% of the calories consumed. The device, which is about the size of a smartphone, stores away in a small case.

For optimal weight loss, patients should initially aspirate after each major meal; over time, and as the patients learn to eat more healthfully, they can reduce the frequency of aspirations. Patients also require frequent monitoring by a health care provider to shorten the tube as they lose weight and abdominal girth, so that the port disk remains flush against the skin. Frequent medical visits are also necessary to monitor device use and weight loss and to provide counseling on lifestyle therapies.

The device also includes a safety feature that keeps track of the number of times the drain tube is connected to the port, and automatically stops working after 115 cycles, or approximately five to six weeks of therapy; patients must return for a medical visit to get a replacement part for the device in order to continue the therapy. The AspireAssist System is manufactured by Aspire Bariatrics (King of Prussia, PA, USA), and has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“The AspireAssist approach helps provide effective control of calorie absorption, which is a key principle of weight management therapy,” said William Maisel, MD, MPH, deputy director for science and chief scientist in the FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH). “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 reduce their calorie intake.”

The AspireAssist is contraindicated in the uncontrolled hypertension, diagnosed bulimia, diagnosed binge eating disorder, night eating syndrome, certain types of previous abdominal surgery, pregnancy, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or stomach ulcers. It is also contraindicated in patients with a history of serious pulmonary or cardiovascular disease, coagulation disorders, chronic abdominal pain, or those at a high risk of medical complications from an endoscopic procedure.

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