At this point I’ve read a few posts and news articles about the Aspire Assist device, a medical device used to suck food out of the stomach so only a third of the calories consumed are absorbed.
The AspireAssist has a tube leading from the stomach to a skin-port on the outside of the abdomen which connects to a small, handheld device that pumps 30 percent of the patients stomach contents into the toilet 20 minutes after eating.
The inventors says the calories from the released food are not digested so the calories are not absorbed which leads to weight loss. The trials for the product did show obese patients losing excess weight. On their website they claim dramatic results, quick recovery, and all the other things you’d want to hear if considering the device as a weight loss tool.
Maybe this is another weight loss tool that will eventually reside side by side with lap band and gastric bypass and all the other more extreme weight loss options. However, my initial reaction is that is just so wrong.
Oh, The Many Things Wrong With AspireAssist!
- It’s gross. Yuck. Sorry, just the general idea of it is pretty gross and the reality seems quite icky. Food can get stuck in the tube, there can be infection, and those are worst case. At the best you are pulling food out of your stomach.
- It’s basically bulimia. Bulimia is a very serious eating disorder but the mentality behind bulimia is exactly the same as this device – if calories come back up they don’t stick and they don’t count. Bulimia is not a safe weight management system and AspireAssist doesn’t seem like it either.
- It doesn’t solve the problems that caused the weight gain. The AspireAssist device does nothing to help patients deal with the issues that caused them to gain weight in the first place.
- It enables emotional eating. Because it doesn’t solve the reasons why a person gained weight in the first place, the stomach pump device enables people to eat emotionally because they can always “fix” the emotional overeating once it’s done. You can eat your feelings, feel better temporarily, and then eliminate the calories and guilt. It doesn’t fix your problems.
- It promotes poor food choices. Unfortunately the AspireAssist pump does not do well with certain foods that could get stuck so many patients avoid roughage like broccoli, cauliflower, and things that are good for you. The foods that work best are smooth, soft foods like ice cream. Totally healthy.
- It needs to be used long term. Once you go stomach pump, you never go back! Since you don’t learn how to be healthy you will pretty much always rely on this device. Sounds fun!
I’m not sure how maintenance and upkeep of the device works but it doesn’t seem like a pleasant experience. A doctor needs to reset it after so many aspirations and then you possibly need surgery for modifications.
This is not something that I can’t possibly get behind. I can’t imagine wanting this implanted in my body and having to remove food every time I ate.
Am I wrong? Am I missing some sort of upside? Would you ever use this device?