AspireAssist: A Low Risk Path to Weight Loss

October 26, 2016

The FDA recently approved a new non-surgical, low risk, reversible procedure for patient controlled weight loss.  The new procedure is called AspireAssist.

The AspireAssist Mechanism

AspireAssist is an endoluminal weight loss device that induces weight loss in obese patients (BMI of 35-55).  The device accomplishes weight loss by two mechanisms:  reduction of calorie absorption and reduction of eating rate.  Over the first hour after eating a meal, the stomach secretes acid and begins to break down the food.  Food consumed then passes into the intestines where calories are absorbed.  The device enables patients to remove up to 30% of stomach contents after a meal in the privacy of a restroom.  Removing this volume reduces the number of calories a patient absorbs.

The inserted tube is only 6 mm in diameter.  In order for stomach contents to drain, the patient must chew food extensively to fit through the tube.  This requirement increases the average meal consumption time by more the 2 times baseline.  Slowing down the eating process allows patients to achieve satiety with a lower food volume.

What You Need To Know About AspireAssist

The AspireAssist is inserted under sedation in an outpatient setting. Device insertion requires no special preparation on the part of the patient and is accomplished in about 15 minutes.  Patients recover quickly after the procedure and usually go home in 2 hours after procedure completion.  Most patients are back at work within a few days.

Results:  The AspireAssist was evaluated in a study conducted at 10 leading institutions across the US.  The trial enrolled 171 patients who were followed for 52 weeks.  Patients who got AspireAssist lost 14.9% of body weight at one year compared to 4.9% for control patients- which means AspireAssist patients lose three times as much weight as patients trying to use a diet. European studies have shown that patients lose 19% of body weight in the first year and reach a weight loss of 23.5% of body weight by the end of two years.

Safety:  The AspireAssist has a very low complication rate.  Most patients tolerate the procedure well with only mild discomfort at the insertion site.  Most common side effects are experiencing pain at the insertion site, nausea/vomiting related to sedation used for anesthesia, granulation tissue developing at the insertion site, and peristomal irritation.  All side effects are easily managed with office treatments or medication.

Monitoring:  Since the AspireAssist drains gastric contents containing acid and electrolytes, it is important that patients be monitored regularly for metabolic and electrolyte balance.  Patients must also return to monitor weight loss progress and stoma site health.

Satisfaction:  Patient satisfaction is very high.  93% of patients are very satisfied with AspireAssist and its weight loss and 96% of patients would refer a friend for the procedure.

With AspireAssist, patients control the rapidity of their weight loss.  No special diet is required but success requires patients to make gradual lifestyle changes and alter they way they eat food.

Many patients in the United States continue to struggle with obesity.  For many patients, their insurance does not cover weight loss surgery.  For other patients, the risks of surgery prevent them from taking that route.  AspireAssist is a reversible, non-surgical, low-risk procedure that can help patients lose weight and maintain that weight loss long term.

Dr. Shawn Garber and the team at New York Bariatric Group are the first to have placed the first AspireAssist device in the United States since FDA approval. Their team is sought out to train other weight loss surgeons around the country, and to help develop new methods and bariatric surgery options, such as the AspireAssist.



Dr. John Angstadt is a board certified and fellowship trained surgeon with vast experience in general surgery, transplant surgery, as well as minimally invasive and bariatric surgery He founded and developed the only bariatric surgery program in South Georgia. Dr. Angstadt has expertise in various weight loss surgeries and is also the director of the comprehensive and multidisciplinary medical weight loss program at New York Bariatric Group.

Read more articles from Dr. Angstadt!


Dr. Jeffrey Chiao is a board certified and fellowship trained surgeon with broad experience in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery. He has performed hundreds of bariatric surgeries and procedures. At the New York Bariatric Group, Dr. Chiao has been involved in the pioneering and cutting edge bariatric procedures, including the Intragastric balloon and AspireAssist procedures.