There is a common misconception that in ancient Rome there were rooms called vomitoriums where the decadent Roman aristocracy would go to “purge” between courses so they could continue to eat in an orgy of food. The Romans had a lot of weird ideas, but fortunately this was not one of them. It is myth. Enter the AspireAssist.
However, the idea of “purging” is very real, and a serious issue among teens and others suffering from eating disorders. And that is why this Hound is howling mad over a new medical device being hawked as a weight loss aid that could very aptly be described as a “Bulimia Machine.” It is actually called the AspireAssist, and it is the latest “technique” being offered by weight loss surgeons. According to the doctors that came up with the procedure, “The AspireAssist gives patients control over their weight loss by a method known as Aspiration Therapy. With Aspiration Therapy, patients “aspirate” (drain) a portion of their stomach contents into the toilet after each meal through an endoscopically-implanted tube, reducing the number of calories absorbed by the body.”
Uh, yeah, I know dozens of teen-aged girls that do the same thing by sticking their fingers down their throats! And this is what MEDICAL DOCTORS come up with as an alternative approach to weight loss? What will they think of next?
The Hound has never been a fan of weightloss surgery. But I recognize that there are those who are morbidly obese and have tried all other methods and failed, for whom bariatric surgery was life saving. Up until very recently responsible surgeons and medical professionals, looked at bariatric surgery as just that – the last resort. However, now with new procedures becoming simpler and more reversible, such as the lap-band and O-band, there has been an element of “quick and easy” weightloss creeping into these procedures. And AspireAssist certainly smells of being promoted as a “have your cake and eat it to” short cut to healthy weight loss.
To give the machine its due, in clinical trials, patients lost about 49 percent of their excess weight within 12 months of getting the implant. The makers of the gross gadget say it requires the simplest in weight loss surgeries, only about 20 minutes in an outpatient procedure and it can help obese people lose weight without “much effort at all.”
Fortunately, not all medical professionals agree. Nutritionist Keith Ayoob from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, said “it was only a matter of time before someone came up with a machine that lets them eat and make the calories just go away, [the AspireAssist] is an enabling device, not a helping device.”
The procedure is currently approved in Europe, and is in clinical trials here in the U.S., hopefully someone at the FDA will have some sense and not approve this heinous procedure, but I doubt it.
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