Web reacts to weight loss gadget that sucks food through stomach

An at-home stomach pump billed as an alternative to gastric bypass surgery is generating a lot of online attention for its drastic and stomach-churning weight loss method, essentially vacuuming indigested food out through a hole in the patient’s belly.

Called the AspireAssist Aspiration Therapy System, the stomach pump hinges on the principle of a feeding tube, similar to the insertion of a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy or PEG tubes used for patients who can’t obtain adequate nutrition orally, such as stroke patients with poor swallowing muscles.

Only instead of pumping the patient with nutrients, it works the other way. The company, Aspire Bariatrics based out of Philadelphia, recently filed to patent the device.

During a 20-minute, outpatient procedure, a tube is threaded through the patient’s throat, implanted into the stomach, and then passed through the surface of the stomach skin in a 1 cm incision.

After the skin has healed around the tube, a valve the size of a poker chip is attached to the end of the tube outside the body; the valve opens and closes for sucking foods out of the stomach. The makers of the system claim that performing the aspiration therapy 20 minutes after a meal will remove 30 percent of the calories consumed.

But what the company calls a “non-invasive,” “breakthrough weight loss solution,” website Jezebel calls a “Terrifying New Bulimia Machine,” a form of automated bulimia and highly disordered eating that promotes an unnatural relationship with food.

In reference to the device’s Skin-Port, the stomach valve that can be opened or closed to control the flow of stomach contents, for instance, Jezebel writer Laura Beck writes, “I’m sorry, is this a viable weight loss option or a scene from ‘Prometheus?’”

Nor would it be a particularly attractive feature during sex, she adds.

The Daily Meal also calls the device "cyborg-ish" while the New York Daily News calls it quite possibly the "Grossest weight loss method ever."

While not approved for use in the US, the device received the CE (Conformité Européenne) approval in December of 2011 to market in the European Union and is now commercially available in parts of Europe.

The system was created by Dean Kamen, who also invented the Segway, the self-balancing, two-wheeled personal transport.

Watch the video to see how the system works at http://bit.ly/VSi6zk.

  • 2015 Chevrolet Trax small SUV rolls back to America 8 hours ago
    2015 Chevrolet Trax small SUV rolls back to America

    For the past two years, car shoppers from Acapulco to Winnipeg could wander into their Chevy dealers and kick the tires on a city-sized sport utility vehicle named the Trax — and about 90,000 have done so. Today, Chevy revealed the version of the Trax it will bring to the United States, for those less well-heeled buyers who want the shape of an SUV without the window sticker they usually carry.

  • Ford Transit Skyliner concept revives the ultra-luxury van 11 hours ago
    Ford Transit Skyliner concept revives the ultra-luxury van

    “Once you do stand-up, you don’t want to go back.” No, we’re not talking about comedy, but rather an emerging trend in luxury transport that’s bringing us ever taller, more capacious, more pimpdillyicious limousines. The quote came from a Ford designer, Tim Stoehr, predicting an increase in interest in limos based on big vans like the new Transit. Of course, these are nothing new; up-fitters have taken quite kindly to the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, and apparently Ford is chomping at the bit to get in on the action, too. So Ford enlisted the help of the largest Ford dealer in the world, Galpin Auto Sports in Van Nuys, Calif., to help design and build its first super-lux Transit concept, dubbed the Skyliner.

  • Driving the 2016 BMW X5 eDrive, the plugged-in SUV 15 hours ago
    Driving the 2016 BMW X5 eDrive, the plugged-in SUV

    Automakers worldwide have gradually (some would say grudgingly) attempted to make their high-profit and highly popular SUVs as efficient and clean-running as their lower weight passenger cars — namely through the grafting of a plug-in hybrid system.

  • Amazon to release smartphone later this year: report
    Amazon to release smartphone later this year: report

    Amazon is preparing to release a smartphone in the second half of 2014, thrusting itself into a market already crowded with Apple and Samsung models, The Wall Street Journal reported. The company aims to announce its new product by the end of June and ship to customers by the end of September in time for the holidays, the Journal said in a Friday report, citing unnamed people briefed on the matter. Amazon, it said, hopes to differentiate its phone from other models with a screen that displays hologram-like three-dimensional images, which can be viewed without special glasses. Earlier this month the retailer unveiled a new media streaming device, Amazon Fire TV, which it touted as simplifying the experience of watching video online.

  • One dead as S. Korea ferry with 476 passengers sinks
    One dead as S. Korea ferry with 476 passengers sinks

    South Korea's coastguard said Wednesday one person had been killed as it struggled to rescue 476 people -- mostly high school students -- aboard a ferry that ran aground and sank off the southern coast. "The ferry is almost completely submerged," Lee said, adding that a detachment of South Korean Navy SEALS were taking part in the rescue. Of the 450 passengers on board the ferry bound for the southern resort island of Jeju, 325 were students from a high school in Ansan, south of Seoul. The 6,825-tonne ferry, which had sailed out of the western port of Incheon on Tuesday evening, ran into trouble some 20 kilometres (13 miles) off the island of Byungpoong.