About the AspireAssist

About the AspireAssist


01: A New Approach to Weight Loss

The AspireAssist is a new weight loss solution for people with obesity. Unlike many other weight loss procedures, it’s minimally-invasive and reversible. The AspireAssist is now commercially available in selected regions in Europe and beyond, and is currently in clinical trials across the US.

Potential benefits of the AspireAssist include:

Dramatic Results

In a U.S. Clinical Trial, patients lost an average of 46 pounds (21 kgs) during the first year with the AspireAssist.

Quick Recovery

Placing the device is an outpatient procedure. Patients can often return home within one to two hours, and be back at work quickly. 

Simple Procedure

The quick, 20 minute procedure is performed under conscious sedation – no general anesthesia is required.  

Healthy, Normal Lifestyle

Patients can eat and drink normal amounts and types of food with the AspireAssist. Although patients will learn healthier behaviors over time with lifestyle counseling, no sudden diet changes are required to achieve weight loss. 

Reversible

The AspireAssist can be removed, at any time, through a 15-minute outpatient procedure. It is performed under conscious sedation. 

Affordable

Because the procedure and device are relatively simple, the AspireAssist may be affordable for patients who cannot afford bariatric surgery. 

02: How it Works

The AspireAssist works by reducing the calories absorbed by the body. After eating, food travels to the stomach immediately, where it is temporarily stored and the digestion process begins. Over the first hour after a meal, the stomach begins breaking down the food, and then passes the food on to the intestines, where calories are absorbed. The AspireAssist allows patients to remove about 30% of the food from the stomach before the calories are absorbed into the body, causing weight loss.

 

The AspireAssist allows patients to remove about 30% of the food from the stomach before the calories are absorbed into the body, causing weight loss.

 

The Device

To begin therapy, a specially designed tube is placed in the stomach. The A-Tube is a thin tube that connects the inside of the stomach directly to a discreet, poker-chip sized Skin-Port on the outside of the abdomen. The Skin-Port has a valve that can be opened or closed to control the flow of stomach contents. The patient empties a portion of stomach contents into the toilet after each meal through this tube by connecting a small, handheld device to the Skin-Port.

 

The emptying process is called “aspiration”.

Aspiration

The aspiration process is performed about 20 minutes after the entire meal is consumed and takes 5 to 10 minutes to complete. The process is performed in the privacy of the restroom, and the food is drained directly into the toilet. Because aspiration only removes a third of the food, the body still receives the calories it needs to function. 

 

For optimal weight loss, patients should aspirate after each major meal (about 3 times per day) initially. Over time, as patients learn to eat more healthfully, they can reduce the frequency of aspirations.

Support

This therapy is used in conjunction with lifestyle counseling. This program combines one-on-one counseling and group support meetings to encourage healthier food choices, smaller portion sizes, and increased physical activity. The therapy also requires careful and comprehensive monitoring by a physician to ensure you are losing weight in a healthy manner.

 

AspireAssist patients also have access to a private online community to discuss their progress with the AspireAssist, and receive support and motivation.

03: Simple Procedure

The A-Tube is placed during a 20-minute outpatient procedure. Patients can usually return home within one to two hours, and many return to work very quickly compared to invasive bariatric surgeries. A-Tube installation does not require general anesthesia, and instead is performed under conscious sedation, which is used during many dental procedures. The procedure is very similar to the routine placement of PEG tubes. For the past 30 years, PEG tubes have been used for long-term feeding for people who cannot obtain adequate nutrition orally. 

Like the placement of a PEG tube, the A-Tube is inserted through the mouth by using an endoscope. Only a very small (1-cm) skin incision is needed to pull the A-Tube through the surface of the skin from the stomach. 

After the skin has healed around the tube (about 10 days), the physician will attach a Skin-Port to the end of the A-Tube outside the body. This takes about 5 minutes and can be done in the doctor’s office. Once the Skin-Port is installed, the patient can begin aspirating and losing weight immediately.

Patients can usually return home within one to two hours, and many return to work very quickly compared to invasive bariatric surgeries.

 

04: Clinical Results

In a U.S. clinical trial, patients lost on average 46 pounds (21kgs) in the first year, and 50 pounds (23kgs) by the 2-year mark. The most successful patients – those who aspirate regularly and begin to make healthier choices – have lost 100% of their excess weight with the AspireAssist and have maintained that weight loss. Compared to other approaches, the AspireAssist has similar results without requiring invasive alterations to the anatomy or digestive process.

 

Source: Sullivan S, Stein R, Jonnalagadda S, Mullady D, Edmundowicz S. Aspiration Therapy Leads to Weight Loss in Obese Subjects: A Pilot Study. Gastroenterology 2013;145:1245–1252.

 

05: Medical Monitoring

When you choose the AspireAssist, you are not alone in your weight loss journey! Your medical team will monitor your progress carefully to make your therapy as successful and safe as possible. They will work with you to come up with a schedule to closely watch the following:

 

WEIGHT LOSS

Aspirating regularly and learning to chew well are the most important parts of making this therapy work for you to reach your weight loss goals. Your medical team will help you learn how to fit the AspireAssist into your daily life – so it becomes a part of your routine, just like brushing your teeth.

NUTRIENTS

Because aspiration removes only 30% of your calories (uniformly), it is unlikely to cause nutrient deficits when used properly. Much like reducing portion sizes through a traditional diet, your body will still receive the vital nutrients it needs if you eat well-balanced meals. Lifestyle counseling, which is provided in conjunction with the AspireAssist, will help you improve your food choices. As with many weight loss methods, your physician may recommend that you take a multivitamin with the therapy to keep you healthy as you reduce your caloric intake.

FLUIDS AND ELECTROLYTES

Your electrolyte levels will be monitored regularly while you are using the AspireAssist, to make sure they stay in a normal range. In our clinical trials, there has been no evidence of serious electrolyte imbalances or dehydration as a result of the AspireAssist. In fact, many people find they are drinking more fluids with Aspiration Therapy, as drinking fluids with meals makes aspiration easier.

SKIN-PORT SITE HEALTH

Much like with traditional PEG tubes, the Skin-Port site on the abdomen should be kept clean and dry. Your medical team will help you learn to care for the site, and will check it regularly to ensure that it remains healthy. With the exception of a few activities such as deep-water diving, the AspireAssist will not limit normal physical activities, such as swimming or jogging.

06: Lifestyle Counseling

Patients who make healthy diet and exercise changes will get the most benefit from the AspireAssist. Over time, with healthier food choices and increased physical activity, you may be able to reduce the number of times you aspirate to once a day or less, or have the device removed completely. To help you make these changes, lifestyle counseling is provided with the AspireAssist. Lifestyle counseling may be provided in individualized one-on-one sessions, and/or group sessions with other patients.

 

Lifestyle counseling will help you address some of the causes of overeating, including emotional and situational triggers. Often, overeating is caused by environmental factors such as stress or special events, rather than hunger. As you begin to identity your triggers, you may be able to avoid them so that you don’t overeat as frequently. You will also learn about appropriate portion sizes for your body and activity level, how to make healthier food choices, and how to incorporate the AspireAssist into your dietary routine.

The program also encourages compliance with aspirating after each meal by offering tips to incorporate aspirating into one’s daily routines. Lastly, this program helps patients stay motivated to maintain their weight loss long-term. Many patients find that the AspireAssist makes healthy lifestyle changes easier to make and maintain, because they can see results of their efforts faster.

07: Safety Information

The AspireAssist has a low risk of serious complications, similar to PEG tubes. PEG tubes have been used for over 30 years with a low incidence of serious clinical issues.

Although the AspireAssist does not have many of the risks associated with invasive surgical procedures, there are risks with any procedure. In clinical studies, the most common complications were abdominal discomfort and constipation/diarrhea. Other less likely risks include infection, anemia, and buried bumper syndrome, which can generally be resolved with conservative medical care or tube replacement. 

As with any medical procedure, it is important to discuss with your doctor the potential risks and benefits to help determine if the AspireAssist is right for you. 

08: Removal

The AspireAssist can be removed at any time though a simple 15-minute outpatient procedure. Removal is similar to the placement procedure, and is performed under conscious sedation (general anesthesia is not required). The A-Tube site usually closes naturally on its own afterwards.

 

While the AspireAssist is intended for long-term use, some patients (or their physicians) may wish to remove the A-Tube after weight loss, or for medical reasons.