(03/12/14) - A new surgery-free weight loss procedure helps people avoid weight gain, by taking food out of the body, before it ever has a chance to absorb.
Kari Adams has been overweight most of her life, "I have tried Weight Watchers. I have tried South Beach. I have tried Atkins."
Nothing worked, so Kari enrolled in a clinical trial to test Aspiration Therapy.
"If we can put food into the stomach, can we also take food out of the stomach?" asks Dr. Shelby Sullivan of Washington University.
Patients first have a skin port placed in their abdomen. After a meal, they connect a tube to the port and into the stomach. When they turn on the valve, water is infused, and food travels from the stomach to the outside of the body.
"And the food just, is emptied out into the toilet," Sullivan said.
The device allows users to remove 30 percent of the food from the stomach before it's absorbed. In a clinical trial, patients lost an average of 46 pounds during the first year using the therapy.
Kari went from 220 pounds to 145, after five years of Aspiration Therapy.
She says she is more active than ever. "The main thing is, I've been, I started running, and I did two half marathons so far."
Patients have to aspirate about 20 minutes after a meal, and the process takes about 20 minutes, so they do have to plan ahead. Doctors also monitor patient's nutrient intake and can provide them with special supplements if needed.
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