The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an extreme weight loss device that borders on the bizarre at best, reported the Mirror. Billed as a “revolutionary” way for obese patients to lose weight, the device removes about 30 percent of food from the stomach before the calories can be absorbed.
The way this weight loss device functions has caused it to be dubbed a “bulimia machine” by some, and it definitely comes with a sizeable gross factor. In fact, the Huffington Post reported that the stomach-draining weight loss device functions via a “thin tube implanted in the person’s stomach” that the user attaches to an external device 20-30 minutes after finishing a meal (here comes the extreme part), which pumps the stomach contents into the toilet.
“The reason why people are freaking out over AspireAssist is because it really seems to mimic binging and purging,” wrote dietician Abby Langer for the Huffington Post.
Turns out, there’s even a video you can watch that the weight loss device in use:
In U.S. clinical trials, people using the AspireAssist weight loss device lost up to three times the amount of weight lost by study participants who only received lifestyle counseling. Patients interested in this extreme weight loss device must have a proven history of trying and failing to lose weight, along with a body mass index (BMI) that ranges between 35 and 55.
According to FDA reports on the AspireAssist obesity device, users lost 12.6 percent of their body weight in just one year using this weight loss treatment plan, while participants in the control group lost just 3.6 percent. By comparison, people who have undergone traditional bariatric surgery typically lose more than 30 percent of their body weight over the first year after treatment.
In addition, the Huffington Post reports that the rate of obesity worldwide has more than doubled since 1980 and today more than one-third of adults in the U.S. are considered obese, making weight loss a very serious topic. Although bariatric surgery remains controversial and is still considered an extreme measure by some critics, it has also helped many people lose weight despite having some known setbacks that may occur, including the fact that many patients ultimately regain at least a portion of the weight that was lost.
In reality, the AspireAssist works much differently than other common weight loss treatments because it doesn’t shrink the size of a patient’s stomach, and because unlike unhealthy purging methods, it does not drain all contents of the stomach – only the top 30 percent. Theoretically a person who wanted to experience serious weight loss, but still eat too much, could use the device to eat, drain, eat, drain – ultimately mimicking the extreme behavior of someone suffering from bulimia.
“After all, the stomach is a first-in, last-out sort of organ,” wrote Langer. “As long as the food is chewed really well (so it fits through the 6mm tube) – it will end up in the toilet if you aspirate right after eating.”
Of course, someone determined to binge and purge can also continue to do so after undergoing bariatric surgery, but the main difference is that AspireAssist makes the purging process much easier. In addition, it removes some of the negatives associated with bulimia, including tooth decay and esophageal erosion from vomiting. Users are also required to see their doctor every five to six weeks because the AspireAssist weight loss device is programmed to stop functioning after 115 cycles. It will cost users between $8,000 and $13,000, plus procedure costs, and can be placed as an outpatient procedure, with patients going home in as little as two hours.
[Photo via Twitter]