Do you ever wish you could lose weight with the push of a button? A new bariatric device called an “A-tube,” is being used to help overweight patients regulate how much they eat… after they’ve already eaten. The groundbreaking procedure involves inserting a thin, silicone rubber tube through the mouth with an endoscope and attaching it from the inner stomach wall to the outer surface of the abdomen via a small incision.
On the outer abdomen, the A-tube is attached to a discreet, poker chip-sized “skin-port,” which is equipped with a valve that patients can open and close to control the flow of contents in the stomach. After each meal, the patient empties a portion of the stomach contents through the A-tube by attaching a handheld device to the skin-port. This emptying process is referred to as “aspiration.”
While the procedure has yet to be approved by the FDA, it has been cleared for use in Europe, and proponents of the procedure view it as an innovative solution for the morbidly obese, or for patients who have been unsuccessful with other weight loss methods; on the other hand, opponents of this new bariatric weight loss surgery label it as medically-assisted bulimia.
• For more information on the controversial bariatric procedure, click here.