Weight Loss Made Easy or Assisted Bulimia? Overview of AspireAssist

Innately, people are programmed to want quick results with minimal effort. We want to win the lottery, experience love at first sight, and have the body of our dreams overnight! It is exactly this psychological phenomenon that causes people to fall victim to weight loss fads that promise instant results with little to no effort.

Preying upon those desperately hoping to acquire their ideal physique in no time flat, a new device called AspireAssist has been Device-and-buttoncreated and recently FDA approved. The device consists of a tube which is surgically implanted into the patient’s stomach through an incision in the abdomen. The tube connects to a port valve, which lies outside the belly. Three times a day, about 30 minutes after eating, the person attaches external tubing to the valve and spends about 10 minutes emptying the contents of his stomach into the toilet.

Being analogous to the serious and potentially life-threatening eating disorder, bulimia, there are a multitude of other potential side effects. Industry and medical experts have weighed in on their concerns.

  • According to Dr. Sajani Shah, a minimally invasive and bariatric surgeon at Tufts Medical Center, “It’s like giving someone bulimia. Basically, you can just vomit out this tube.”
  • “I’m sure it won’t be long until tales of infections, leakage, lack of nutrient absorption, depression and suicide, severe hypoglycemia, extreme thiamine deficiency, anemia, osteoporosis, and all sorts of other complications” surface, as they have with bariatric surgery, says Laura Beck at Jezebelcanstockphoto17291594
  • According to the FDA, side effects may include occasional indigestion, nausea, vomiting, constipation and diarrhea. The surgical procedure used to place the gastric tube also has risks, including sore throat, pain, abdominal bloating, bleeding, infection, nausea, vomiting and death.
  • Michael Jensen, professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic, was an investigator for the clinical trial of the device. He reported that most people wouldn’t even entertain doing it for any amount of money because they found it so repulsive. Those that did try it found it a difficult burden to use the device three times a day and many dropped out of the study or hardly used the device.

The bottom line is that to achieve long-term, healthy weight control, there is no quick fix. Lifestyle changes including dietary choices, portion control, exercise, and our overall relationship with food must be made. You don’t have to do this alone though.

The experienced and caring professionals at Medifast Weight Control Centers can help support and guide you toward your weight loss goal! Call today and let us help you.

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