FDA Approves Controversial Stomach Pump That Helps Combat Obesity

The Food and Drug Administration approved an external pump that dumps part of the stomach contents into the toilet called Aspire Assist. Aspire Bariatrics
The Food and Drug Administration approved an external pump that dumps part of the stomach contents into the toilet called Aspire Assist. Aspire Bariatrics

The Food and Drug Administration approved a new and unusual weight loss device Tuesday: an external pump that dumps part of the stomach contents into the toilet.

Some critics have called it “assisted bulimia” but the device, approved for use in very obese patients, helps them lose on average more than 12 percent of body weight — far more than pills or most diets.

The device is considered minimally invasive and includes a tube that goes from the inside of the stomach to a port on the outside of the abdomen. The pump can be attached to the outside port as needed to remove about a third of the stomach’s contents at a time.

Aspire Bariatrics of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, which makes the device, has a video about it here.

Clinical trials showed patient lost an average of 46 pounds during the first year and another few pounds to make 50 pounds of weight loss by the second year.

“The AspireAssist device should not be used on patients with eating disorders, and it is not intended to be used for short durations in those who are moderately overweight,” the FDA said in a statement.

“It is intended to assist in weight loss in patients aged 22 and older who are obese, with a body mass index of 35 to 55, and who have failed to achieve and maintain weight loss through non-surgical weight-loss therapy.”

The device joins a growing list of new ways to help Americans lose weight, from carefully controlled diets to surgery and a batch of devices that make the stomach smaller in effect.

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SOURCE:   MAGGIE FOX
NBC News