Recently the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved a device for market called “AspireAssist.”
The device is hooked up to an incision in your abdominal wall after each meal that allows you to drain 30% of your stomach contents directly into the toilet.
Harder to gain weight (and easier to lose it!) when you’re diverting a third of caloric intake from your body into the sewer system.
It works like a “G-tube” in reverse — the kind of tube that puts liquid calories INTO your stomach in the event you can’t swallow (i.e. you’ve had a stroke or some kind of oral surgical issue that won’t let you chew and swallow). Therefore it was deemed ‘safe enough’ because SO FAR it has a low complication rate.
But keep in mind to get FDA approval the manufacturers only had to show efficacy and safety in two small trials totaling less than 200 patients. This is a lower barrier to market than would occur if the new product were a medication. [Devices and medications are held to different approval standards at the FDA.]
As for whether AspireAssist is ‘ready for prime time,’ I share the healthy skepticism of my friends over at “Updates in Slow Medicine,” who wrote:
From the Slow Medicine perspective, removing food after eating directly from the stomach using an A-tube remains an experimental approach to weight loss, and we would only recommend an AspireAssist device to a patient of ours enrolled in an appropriate clinical trial.
With more clinical experience it’s possible this could be a solution for many folks struggling with obesity. But only when we know more.