FDA-approved weight loss procedure drains part of stomach contents

Eat what you want, without gaining weight. Doesn't seem realistic, but a new FDA-approved weight loss procedure called 'Aspire Assist' is helping people do just that.

Doctors surgically install a tube in the stomach that allows a person to flush out 1/3 of the food they've eaten. People with Aspire Assist eat slowly and chew their meals thoroughly. Twenty minutes later, they go the bathroom to flush the food from the stomach before the calories are ever absorbed.

Lotta Frisk used to weigh 320 pounds. After she joined a weight loss clinical trial in Sweden, she lost 150 pounds in a year.

Dr. Carson Liu, a specialist in weight loss surgery in Santa Monica, says three of his patients have had the procedure and they've all lost weight.

"I think it's incredible how people have responded to this procedure. It's minimal work on their part and they can get rid of 25% to 30% of calories from their stomach," says Dr. Liu.

But not all doctors are sold on this procedure.

Dr. Kai Nishi is worried patients could try to remove everything they eat and become malnourished. He says, "In a way, it's like surgically induced bulimia; rather than throwing it up, you're opening a valve and letting the food out of your stomach."

But for people like Lotta, the procedure has been a life saver. She says, "I became happy and I can enjoy life again.

Aspire Assist is for people who are at least 50 pounds over their ideal weight. It costs roughly $14,000 and at this time, it is not covered by insurance. For more information, go to: their website.

The FDA warns the Aspire Assist device should not be used on patients with eating disorders,

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