Sunday, August 28, 2016

The AspireAssist Device As a New Tool to Fight Obesity

In light of our obesity epidemic, obesity-related treatments have continued to gain FDA approval. Within the last five years, at least four obesity drugs and at least four obesity-treatment devices have been approved by the FDA. The approved obesity drugs include Belviq, Qsymia, Contrave, and Saxenda. The approved obesity related devices include two intragastric balloons and a vagal nerve signal blocking tool called the Maestro® Rechargeable System. And the most recent obesity-treatment device obtaining FDA approval is the AspireAssist.

The AspireAssist, produced by King of Prussia, Pennsylvania based Aspire Bariatrics, is a pump device that can be used to remove stomach contents. "The device is considered minimally invasive and includes a tube that goes from the inside of the stomach to a port on the outside of the abdomen. The pump can be attached to the outside port as needed to remove about a third of the stomach's contents at a time."

According to an FDA news piece, 'The AspireAssist approach helps provide effective control of calorie absorption, which is a key principle of weight management therapy.' In a study consisting of 111 patients that the FDA reviewed, the 60 control participants lost 3.6% of their total weight, compared to 12.1% for the participants who used the AspireAssist device.

The AspireAssist device joins other devices that were recently approved by the FDA to fight obesity. Other recently FDA approved devices include two intragastric balloons and the Maestro® Rechargeable System. The intragastric balloons are endoscopically placed in the stomach, allowing a person to feel satisfied while eating less food. The  Maestro® Rechargeable System is placed in the body via minimally invasive surgery. This system blocks signals sent from the digestive system to the brain, via the vagal nerve. These signals contain messages associated with hunger, satisfaction and fullness. The system can cause a person to eat less.

Keep in mind that the AspireAssist device can have side effects, including nausea, constipation, indigestion and diarrhea. And there are risks associated with the placement of the device. The risks include bleeding, infection, and inflammation. Still, the device does add another tool to a growing obesity-fighting toolbox. And for some individuals, the device may prove beneficial.


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