Aspire Assist Weight Loss Procedure: Effectiveness and Surprising Side Effects

Aspire Assist System for Weight Loss

Aspire Assist Weight Loss Procedure is a distinctive procedure, slightly more invasive than endoscopic gastric balloon procedure but significantly less invasive than bariatric surgical procedures like gastric sleeve and gastric bypass.

Aspire assist system was introduced as a safe and effective procedure for weight loss in 2011.

The Aspire Assist system was approved by the FDA for weight loss after its efficacy and safety were studied in different clinical trials.

This system is still in clinical practice and is one of the safest and most effective procedures for weight loss.

Aspire Assist system FDA approval: 17 June 2016.


How Does Aspire Assist Weight Loss Device Help You Lose Weight?

The Aspire assist system works differently than a gastric balloon and gastric sleeve or gastric bypass procedures.

As the name suggests, the “Aspire Assist System” aspirate your gastric contents after you take your meal.

Simply, you eat your food and before the food is absorbed, the Aspire Assist System removes it from your body.

The amount of food you remove depends but generally, 30% of the food that has been taken in is removed.

Removing food from the stomach after your meal also improves the symptoms of abdominal distension and bloating.

In the long run, it reduces stomach volume, the stomach gets adjusted to smaller meals, and has some effects on the neuroendocrine axis that results in the suppression of satiety.


How is Aspire Assist Procedure Performed?

The Aspire Assist System is a much simpler procedure compared to a gastric sleeve or gastric bypass.

The patient is asked to take clear fluids 24 hours before the procedure.

Under mild sedation, a tube is placed in the stomach that is attached to a suction system outside the stomach, similar to placing a PEG (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy) tube.

After placing the Aspire Assist System, the patient is trained as to how and when to aspirate gastric contents.

The patient can go home 2 hours after the procedure is performed. A liquid diet is advised for 48 hours.

In addition, the Aspire Assist System can be removed at any time the patient wants. It takes only half an hour for the physician to remove it with minimal complication rates.


How Does it Help You Lose Weight?

After placement of the Aspire Assist System, the patient is advised to take a fluid diet. After 24 hours, the patient can have his normal meals and drinks.

The patient is asked to aspirate gastric contents after 20 to 30 minutes of a meal with the help of the suction valve attached to the outside of the tube. This is done at a sink or a toilet.

Who is a Candidate for Aspire Assist Weight Loss Procedure?

It is indicated in adults at least 22 years of age or older, especially those not willing for weight loss surgery.

The individual must be obese and have a BMI of more than 35kg/m² despite a low-calorie diet, exercise, and efforts to lose weight.


Who Should Not Opt for Aspire Assist Weight Loss Procedure?

To make use of the Aspire Assist System, the selection of the appropriate patient is important. The following are some contraindications to this procedure:

  • Individuals who have had abdominal surgery in the past (may increase the risk of complications of a gastrostomy)
  • Esophageal stricture or gastric outlet obstruction.
  • History of refractory gastric ulcer.
  • Ulcer or bleeding lesion or tumor found while performing endoscopy.
  • Uncontrolled Hypertension ( blood pressure of 16O /100mmHg or more).
  • Evidence of severe cardiac or pulmonary diseases.
  • Patients at risk of bleeding (Platelets count less than 50,000/microLiter,  Prothrombin time of more than 2 seconds above the normal value, or an INR of more than 1.5).
  • Anemia (Hemoglobin of less than 8.0 G/dl in males and less than 10.0 G/dl in females.
  • Pregnant or lactating mother.
  • Diagnosed case of Bulimia Nervosa or night eating syndrome.
  • Chronic abdominal pain (It will complicate the management)
  • Mental or physical disability.
  • Medical conditions complicating endoscopic procedures.

How Effective is Aspire Assist Weight Loss Procedure?

Aspire Assist Weight Loss Procedure is one of the most effective and safest weight loss interventions. Its weight loss effects have been studied and compared with various weight loss interventions.

One of the studies that was published in 2018, compared the effectiveness of various weight loss procedures at different time intervals after the intervention is summarized here [Ref]


% Weight Loss

Time Period

Intragastric balloon14% EWL6 months
Aspire assist12% TBWL12 months
Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty overstitch
  • 13% TBWL
  • 15% TBWL
  • 1 year
  • 18 months
Gastric artery embolization11.5 % EWL12 months
Vagal nerve blockade17-24% EWL12 months
Dudeno-jejunal bypass13% EWL6 months
IncissionIess magnetic anastomosis system.14.7% EWL12 months

EWL: Excess Weight Loss; TBWL: Total Body Weight Loss

Aspire Assist System resulted in 25% or more weight loss in 58.8% of patients!

The mean weight loss with the Aspire Assist System is about 12.1%. However, some individuals respond very well to this intervention.

In more than half the individuals, it is associated with 25% or more weight loss. This is greater than most medical weight loss interventions.

In absolute terms, it can result in a mean weight loss of about 16 kgs (36 pounds). However, this depends on the baseline weight and the dietary practices of the patient.


Long-term Safety and Efficacy of Aspire Assist Weight Loss Procedure:

Most weight loss interventions are effective for a short duration after which the patients start to regain their weight.

Long-term and persistent weight loss are key outcomes that are assessed when undergoing any weight loss intervention.

The long-term safety and efficacy of Aspire Assist Weight Loss Procedure were evaluated in 201 individuals.

The mean BMI of the study patients was 43.6 ± 7.2 -kg/m². Patients were followed for a period of four years.

The percentage of TWL (total weight loss) and EWL (excess weight loss) was calculated after each year for four years. The results of the study are tabulated below:

Table showing the percentage of weight lost each year:




118.2 ± 9:4%46-3± 26.3%
219.8 ± 11.3%48.2 ± 28.2%
321.3 ± 9.6%50.3 ± 26.2%
419-2 ± 13.1%47.9 ± 36.2%

As shown in the table above, the weight loss observed each year was persistent.


The Effect of Aspire Assist Weight Loss Procedure on Metabolic Parameters:

Similarly, the effect of Aspire Assist Weight Loss Procedure on metabolic diseases was also evaluated in the study.

Except for the impact of Aspire Assist System on lipid profile, significant improvements were observed in diabetics and hypertensive patients.

The effects of Aspire Assist System on blood glucose and blood pressure are summarized in the table below:



After 1year

HbA1c5-9+ 1.35-5 ± 1.0
Fasting Glucose109:7 ±1.3mgl/dl101:8± 38.2mg/dl
B.P (Systolic )141.3 ± 16-9mmHg129.2± 18.8mmHg
BP (Diastolic)80:4 ± 11-5 mmHg82.4± 11.2mmHg
Cholesterol184-9 ±45-8mg/dl198 ±36.6 mg/dl



Complications of Aspire Assist Weight Loss Procedure

The Aspire Assist System is a minimally invasive procedure and does not require any form of general anesthesia. That is why this system has minimum complications.

A few of the complications that can arise are:

  • Bleeding from gastrostomy site
  • Infection of gastrostomy site
  • Peritonitis ( Due to leakage of gastric contents intra-abdominally.
  • Benign pneumo-peritoneum. This is because of leakage of air while performing a gastrostomy.
  • Gastric ulceration or erosion of stomach mucosa.
  • Buried bumper.

In Conclusion:

The Aspire Assist System is a minimally invasive effective weight loss intervention. It is associated with weight loss of about 1/4th of the baseline body weight.

It has got fewer side effects and can be reversed at any time the patient wishes to reverse it.


What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

I love my family, my profession, my blog, nature, hiking, and simple life. Read more about me, my family, and my qualifications

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