New weight-loss device makes some medical experts queasy
A device meant to help severely obese people lose weight is turning stomachs among some weight-loss experts in the medical community. This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the AspireAssist device, which involves an outpatient procedure using anesthesia during which a tube is surgically inserted into a patient's stomach through a small incision in the abdomen. A disk-shaped "port valve" that's connected to the tube lies outside the body, against the belly. Twenty to 30 minutes after a meal is eaten, the patient attaches the device's external connector and tubing to the port valve, opens the valve and drains the contents. It takes about 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.
While the FDA said in a statement that the device should not be used on patients with eating disorders, it leaves some wondering if it is actually a medically approved form of bulimia.