Device helps obese lose weight by emptying stomach

Jan. 9, 2013 at 8:53 PM
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KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa., Jan. 9 (UPI) -- A device sucks food out of the stomach after eating so only about a third of the calories are kept in the body, helping in weight loss, its U.S. inventors say.

The group of inventors, including the creator of the Segway, said patients eat a meal, wait 20 minutes, then empty 30 percent of their stomach contents into the toilet via a tube -- a small, handheld device, which connects to a skin-port discretely embedded on the outside of the abdomen.

Calories not digested are calories not absorbed, which leads to weight loss -- a type of high-tech bulimia.

Katherine D. Crothall, president and chief executive officer of Aspire Bariatrics, the maker of the AspireAssist, said she understood people might find the idea of the stomach pump "gross," but insisted it offers a viable way for morbidly obese people to drop pounds, ABC-News reported.

"Some people manage to lose weight on a diet, but the kinds of changes you need to make to keep it off are probably not sustainable for many," she told ABC-News.

"There's a lot to be said for people being in the driver's seat with their own body, with their own health. This allows a patient to do that while under the care of a physician."

The device, available in some parts of Europe since 2011, is currently undergoing trials in the United States.

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