FDA approves stomach-draining obesity treatment

U.S. regulator approves a new obesity treatment device that uses a surgically-placed tube to drain a portion of the stomach contents after every meal.

Manufacturer says its system removes about 30 per cent of food stored in the stomach

 A new weight loss device offers a novel approach to cutting calories: draining them from the stomach before they are digested.

The AspireAssist system consists of a thin tube implanted in the stomach, connecting to an outside port on the skin of the belly. About 30 minutes after finishing a meal, users connect the port to an external device, which drains some of the recently-consumed food into the toilet.

The manufacturer says its system removes about 30 per cent of food stored in the stomach before it begins causing weight gain.

It's the latest in a series of new options for millions of obese Americans who have been unable to lose weight via more traditional methods. About 38 per cent of all U.S. adults are obese.

The FDA says side-effects related to use of the AspireAssist include occasional indigestion, nausea, vomiting, constipation and diarrhea. There are also risks from the endoscopic surgical placement of the gastric tube itself.

The device is not for everyone. The FDA warns the device should not be used on patients with eating disorders, and it is not intended to be used for short periods in those who are moderately overweight.

The device is intended for people aged 22 and older with a body mass index of at least 35 after non-surgical weight-loss treatments didn't work to lose weight and keep it off. 

With files from CBC News