For those who are extremely overweight or suffer from obesity, gastric bypass and Lap-Band surgeries have been the go-tos to help them shed weight. These super invasive procedures help patients drop serious weight—think upward of 100 pounds or more—but, they also come along with restrictive diets that have to be followed forever.
While gastric bypass and Lap-Band surgeries are proven to be successful, a new weight-loss device just received approval by the FDA and it’s different than anything else we’ve ever seen. Named AspireAssist, a small tube is placed in the upper part of the stomach through a small incision (you’re put under twilight anesthesia during the 15-minute outpatient endoscopic procedure) that connects to a small port, that works kind of like a button, on the outside of your stomach. The port-like device is easily hidden by clothes.
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AspireAssist helps to cut down on the amount of calories that the body absorbs by physically removing about 30 percent of the food before it gets digested and absorbed. Here’s where it gets gross. After each meal, you attach a connector and tube to the port, which allows food that isn’t utilized by the body to be drain out from the tube and into the toilet. The emptying process takes about five to 10 minutes and should be done about 20 minutes after eating.
Besides the fact that AspireAssist lives outside the body, it’s also different from other weight-loss procedures because it’s minimally invasive and reversible (it can be taken out in a quick 10-minute procedure). Also, once you’ve had the procedure, you can pretty much eat whatever you like—no foods are considered off limits—although healthy eating is advised. But, you should “aspire your food,” three times per day after major meals to get to your optimal weight-loss goals. According to the company that manufactures the device, in clinical trials, patients lose three times more weight using the device than those who just exercised and diet.
“In the constantly evolving world of medicine, new devices and technologies frequently come to market and even achieve FDA-approval,” says Sarasota, FL, plastic surgeon Raja Nalluri, MD. “For patients with morbid obesity and medical conditions related to obesity, a device and/or gastric banding, stapling or bypass procedures are an option and have been successfully implemented to promote massive weight loss and greatly improve patients’ health.”
For a cool $13,000 (give or take), you too (if you’re an appropriate candidate, the company says the device should not be used on those with eating disorder) can be on the path to skinny.
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