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FDA approves AspireAssist obesity device

Staff writer |
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new obesity treatment device that uses a surgically-placed tube to drain a portion of the stomach contents after every meal.

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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.

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.

To place the device, surgeons insert a tube in the stomach with an endoscope via a small incision in the abdomen. A disk-shaped port valve that lies outside the body, flush against the skin of the abdomen, is connected to the tube and remains in place.

Approximately 20 to 30 minutes after meal consumption, the patient attaches the device’s external connector and tubing to the port valve, opens the valve and drains the contents.

Once opened, it takes approximately five to 10 minutes to drain food matter through the tube and into the toilet. The device removes approximately 30 percent of the calories consumed.

The FDA reviewed results from a clinical trial of 111 patients treated with AspireAssist and appropriate lifestyle therapy, and 60 control patients who received only the lifestyle therapy.

After one year, patients using AspireAssist lost an average of 12.1 percent of their total body weight compared to 3.6 percent for the control patients.

Clinical trial results also suggested that both patient groups had small improvements in conditions often associated with obesity, such as diabetes, hypertension and quality of life.

These improvements may be attributable to the lifestyle therapy, which includes nutrition and exercise counseling.


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