This new weight loss device can literally help you lose your lunch. The AspireAssist device pumps food out of a person's tummy after every meal and it's just been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The surgically implanted weight loss device is designed for obese patients who have failed to lose weight using other methods except for surgery. It's not for the fainted-hearted and obese patients need to be at least 22 years old to use it.

AspireAssist was developed by Aspire Bariatrics, a company based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Here's how it works.

A tube is surgically implanted into the obese patient's stomach. The tube is attached to a "disk-shaped port valve" that is placed outside the body, resting flat on the abdominal skin.

The patient can then open the valve about 20 to 30 minutes following a meal. The weight loss device can effectively drain 30 percent of the consumed calories and flush it right down the toilet. The whole process takes only 5 to 10 minutes.

"The AspireAssist approach helps provide effective control of calorie absorption, which is a key principle of weight management therapy," said Dr. William Maisel, FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health chief scientist and deputy director for science.

Maisel added that apart from regular monitoring, the patients should follow a lifestyle program. This can help them reduce calorie intake and take on healthier eating habits to help in the obesity treatment.

In a clinical trial, 111 participants used the AspireAssist device together with an "appropriate lifestyle therapy." The trial also included a control group who took the same lifestyle therapy but without the AspireAssist device.

The participants who used the new weight loss device lost an average of 12.1 percent of the body weight after just one year. As for the control group, participants lost an average of 3.6 percent of their body weight.

The participants in both groups showed minor improvements in several related conditions including hypertension, diabetes and life quality.

"These improvements may be attributable to the lifestyle therapy, which includes nutrition and exercise counseling," the FDA said in a press release.

But of course, there are limitations and risks. The AspireAssist device stops automatically after 115 cycles, which is about 5 to 6 weeks of continuous therapy. This feature is designed to ensure that the patients return to their health care providers for medical follow-up.

They also need to get replacement parts for the AspireAssist device. As the patient's abdominal girth decreases, the tube needs to be shortened so the outside disk can remain flat on the skin.

Device usage also entails several occasional side effects such as constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, vomiting and nausea. The surgical placement of the tube comes with various risks including bleeding, infection, abdominal bloating and even abdominal lining inflammation.

Lastly, health experts recommend that patients who use AspireAssist take regular counseling to help them adjust to the lifestyle programs.

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