Who would have thought that the future of weight loss might lie in the hands of the inventor of the Segway? Dean Kamen, creator of the two-wheeled wonder, along with a team from Aspire Bariatrics, of Philadelphia, has applied for a patent for a pump that can suck food and drink straight out of the stomach.
Users are able to stuff their face before draining their stomach by connecting the pump to a valve surgically installed in their abdominal wall. The makers hope to use it to treat the morbidly obese, and to provide an alternative to a gastric bypass.
To begin Aspiration Therapy, a specially designed tube, known as the A-Tube™, is placed in the stomach. The A-Tube is a thin silicone rubber tube that connects the inside of the stomach directly to a discreet, poker-chip sized Skin-Port on the outside of the abdomen. The Skin-Port has a valve that can be opened or closed to control the flow of stomach contents. The patient empties a portion of stomach contents into the toilet after each meal through this tube by connecting a small, handheld device to the Skin-Port. The emptying process is called “aspiration”.
Initial setbacks – and here's the really yucky part – have occurred because the pump struggles to break up large foods. One patient reported "clogging" and had to avoid eating cauliflower, broccoli, Chinese food, stir fry, snow peas, pretzels, chips and steak. No chips? It will never catch on.