Weight loss is not the easiest hurdle to surmount, especially when one crosses over from being overweight to obese.
Obesity is characterized as having a body mass index between 35 and 50, but that’s science talk, it’s simply being so big, to the point that the weight is detrimental to your health.
That may be the only reason to consider this new weight loss method, but considering that most obese patients turn to bariatric surgery to get help, it may actually be a good thing.
Bariatric surgery normally involves the limiting of the amount that a person can eat by shrinking the stomach or even bypassing it altogether.
Being a surgery, it is expensive, invasive and often forces the patient to eat severely restrictive diets for the rest of their lives.
A new method for weight loss has however come to light as the US food and drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday, approved a new device for weight loss programmes.
The AspireAssist as it is called was manufactured by Aspire Bariatrics in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. It makes use of a tube which is inserted into the stomach, connected to a small external system that pumps out a third of the food that a patient takes in, from their stomach, after the meal.
The contents can then be emptied into the toilet.
In the clinical trial, patients who made use of the device after every meal, combined with regular counselling sessions about more healthy food and lifestyle choices were able to loose about 12% of their total body weight after a year.
Compare that to patients who did counselling alone and lost about 3% of their body weight in the same time period and you see the obvious effectiveness of the device for weight loss.
Kathy Crothall, the CEO and founder of Aspire Bariatrics, told Quartz;
“The weight loss occurs steadily over time, and patients still get nutrients from their food, which are mostly absorbed in the intestines.”
The device is very easy to implant, a 15-minute outpatient procedure will get it done and the valve, called a skin-port, can be hidden relatively easily by clothing.
That is necessary as the device is intended for long term use. The patient can also choose not to use it after some meals if they prefer and it can be removed as easily with a similar outpatient procedure.
Estimates for cost of the device, plus additional counselling and excluding insertion cost, range from $8,000 to $13,000. That is a lot of money but it is only intended for people with large amounts of weight to lose.