Wannabe weight loss cyborgs take note! Dean Kamen, inventor of the segway, has come up with an invention designed to help you lose your lunch. It is now possible to get a port implanted into your stomach, through which you can purge about a third of the food you eat at each meal. This bizarre device is currently in use in Europe, but not yet available in the US.
The cynical among you might observe that there’s also a practical similarity between Aspiration Therapy and a certain, much older technique, one well known to ballerinas, runway models, and Roman senators. But Aspire is quick to point out that this new technique has significant advantages over sticking one’s finger down one’s throat.
For one thing, patients are meant to practice Aspiration Therapy only under the supervision of their doctors, who will monitor their electrolyte and metabolite levels and administer supplements as necessary. Furthermore, vomiting causes stomach acids to enter the mouth and esophagus, which can cause long-term damage over time. The Skin-Port presents no such risks.
Moreover, Aspire says, people who habitually vomit after meals are often bulimics, while candidates for Aspiration Therapy are just obese people who want to lose weight. “There is little overlap between people with bulimia and obesity,” the company says, adding that patients will be screened for bulimia and other psychological disorders to determine their eligibility for the treatment.
Aspire says patients should be able to bathe, swim, and conduct most other activities normally with the Skin-Port installed. And if you want to back out, or if you’ve managed to wean yourself off the therapy, the A-Tube can be removed in a 15-minute procedure under conscious sedation.
What do you think about this technology? Is it responsible to peddle a device which essentially mimics the function of a dangerous eating disorder, or are the differences significant enough to justify marketing it to people who may otherwise opt for more invasive surgical measures?