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Experts warn AspireAssist is likely a defective medical device

A growing demand for weight loss in the medical community has helped advance different interventions that can help California patients safely and effectively lose weight. However, a recently approved device has drawn harsh criticism from experts, claiming that it is inherently a defective medical device. Much of the concern focuses on the mental impact of the AspireAssist.

Although made by AspireBariatrics -- a northeastern biomedical company -- and used abroad, the AspireAssist was not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States until June 2016. Touted as being a more effective alternative to traditional bariatric surgery, the device works by essentially draining out food that has recently been ingested. Patients must manually drain the food by turning an attached valve.

While some believe that it can help patients change their relationship with food, others insist that it has dangerous implications. The Academy of Eating Disorders noted that AspireAssist is dangerous and that it will likely be unsuccessful over the long term. It also implied that the device could lead to different life-threatening situations, physical injuries and mental health problems.

Obesity is not necessarily an easy issue to address, and one expert pointed out that it often requires chronic treatment to control. However, devices used to treat obesity must be more than just effective; they must also be safe. California patients should be able to trust the FDA to uphold medical standards and integrity by preventing a defective medical device from hitting the market. When that trust is violated, injured patients often turn to product liability lawsuits in order to pursue just compensation from the manufacturers.

Source: Scientific American, "Stomach-Purging Weight-Loss Device Draws Backlash against FDA Approval", Ben Gruber, July 29, 2016

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