Medicine:Aspiration therapy

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Aspiration therapy is a bariatric approach to siphon ingested food from the stomach via an implanted tube and port to the outside of the body to be discarded.[1] The device for this approach was developed by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis to treat obesity and has been named AspireAssist.[1] The device has also been termed a reverse feeding tube.[2] It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on June 14, 2016.[3] AspireAssist is made by Aspire Bariatrics. It is inserted in an outpatient setting using an endoscope during an about 15 minutes procedure.[4] People with the device can discharge yet undigested food via the port into the toilet, typically 20 to 30 minutes after a meal. Critics have called the approach “assisted bulemia”.[2] In an initial study 18 people those with the device lost more weight than controls.[5] The therapy is supported by a lifestyle counseling program and requires regular medical supervision.

Candidates for the device cannot have an eating disorder, should be 22 years old or more, and should have a body mass index of 35 to 55. Short term use is not encouraged.[3] Contraindications for the device are certain eating disorders (i.e. bulimia), certain types of previous abdominal surgery, pregnancy, stomach ulcers and inflammatory bowel disease.[3] Side effects reported are local skin irritation at the port site and abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea.[3] Local infection may require removal of the tube.[4]

The device is removable.[4] Removal is performed on an outpatient basis and requires about ten minutes.[4]