To begin Aspiration Therapy, a tube (called the A-Tube™) is placed from the patient’s stomach to the surface of the skin in a quick (20-minute) outpatient procedure. Patients can usually return home within one to two hours, and many return to work very quickly compared to invasive bariatric surgeries. A-Tube installation does not require general anesthesia, and instead is performed under conscious sedation, which is used during many dental procedures. The procedure is very similar to the routine placement of PEG tubes. For the past 30 years, PEG tubes have been used safely for long-term feeding for people who cannot obtain adequate nutrition orally.
Like the placement of a PEG tube, the A-Tube is inserted through the mouth by using an endoscope. Only a very small (1-cm) skin incision is needed to pull the A-Tube through the surface of the skin from the stomach.
After the skin has healed around the tube (about 10 days), the physician will attach a Skin-Port to the end of the A-Tube outside the body. This takes about 5 minutes and can be done in the doctor’s office. The Skin-Port is discreet, about the size of a poker chip, and sits relatively flush against the skin. Once the Skin-Port is installed, the patient can begin aspirating and losing weight immediately.