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Aspiration Therapy

A Reversible, Nonsurgical Weight-Loss Procedure

Aspiration therapy is a new weight loss solution for people with obesity. Unlike some other weight loss procedures, it’s nonsurgical and reversible. Aspiration therapy is a simple approach that puts you in control of your own weight loss.

The procedure uses a device that reduces the number of calories your body processes. The device also requires you to chew your food very carefully, giving time for the fullness signals from your stomach to reach your brain so you’re less likely to eat too much.

What to Expect

  • Aspiration therapy is intended for adults with a body mass index greater than 35.
  • The most successful patients in the U.S. study — those who used the device regularly and made gradual lifestyle changes — lost over 100 pounds in the first year.
  • Patients can generally go home within two hours of the procedure and resume normal activities within two to three days.

Aspiration Therapy | Q&A

Aspiration therapy is a new weight loss solution for people with obesity. Vivek Kumbhari, M.B.Ch.B., director of bariatric endoscopy, and clinical registered nurse Margo Dunlap answer questions about aspiration therapy, including details about the procedure and how to use the device on a daily basis

diagram of an inserted aspiration tube
Aspiration therapy tube in stomach.

How the Procedure Works

During a simple 15-minute procedure, a small tube is inserted into your stomach. Most patients go home within two hours after the procedure. The tube connects to a button on the surface of your skin. After you eat a meal, this small and discreet device allows you to empty about 30 percent of the calories into the toilet. The process is simple and private, so no one needs to know.

Aspiration Therapy Allows a Normal Lifestyle

With aspiration therapy, there are no particular foods or beverages that are off-limits, although you’ll gradually learn to eat healthier with the help of your health care team. You do not need to limit your activities — in fact, many patients find they are able to enjoy new activities after losing weight. Because aspiration therapy requires that you chew your food well, you’re likely to find that you eat more slowly and therefore end up eating less.

Aspiration therapy device attached for flushing
Aspiration therapy device attached for flushing (empties directly into lavatory).

Few Side Effects

Side effects are few and generally minor. Because your gastrointestinal anatomy is not altered, you don’t suffer many of the side effects that are seen with more invasive weight-loss procedures.

Physician-Monitored Approach

An important part of aspiration therapy is a physician-monitored plan to establish healthier habits and make lifestyle changes that can support your weight loss. Aspiration therapy is a powerful tool to reinforce these changes because it helps you learn to chew more carefully and eat more slowly. So while you can see results quickly, you will also know that you’re working toward long-lasting change.