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What to Expect
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What to Expect


01: Is the AspireAssist Right For Me?

The AspireAssist is intended for adults with a Body Mass Index between 35 and 55, who have been unable to lose weight or maintain weight loss through diet and exercise. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks to decide if the AspireAssist is the right choice for you. Below are some things to consider carefully.

You must be committed to making a complete lifestyle transformation

Eating behavior is associated with emotional and environmental triggers. To achieve your fullest potential with this therapy, you will need to address these issues. To make this transformation, various support resources are provided, including individual lifestyle counseling and/or patient support groups, and an online community forum. You must be an active participant in some or all of these activities, and open to working with your clinic and other patients throughout your transformation. Over time, the most successful people on the AspireAssist learn to select healthier foods, reduce portion sizes, and incorporate regular physical activity as they begin to lose weight. 

IT TAKES TIME TO ASPIRATE

Once you become proficient at aspirating and chewing well, it takes 5-10 minutes to aspirate a meal. In the beginning, however, it may take longer to aspirate each meal. Prior to getting the AspireAssist, you should make sure that you can fit regular aspiration after each meal into your schedule. Consider your schedule at work, at home, on weekends, and with your family or friends. Although missing an aspiration occasionally is OK, the most successful patients aspirate three times per day, almost every day.

YOU WILL NEED TO CHEW CAREFULLY

Large pieces of food will not fit through the tube, so in order to aspirate effectively, you will need to learn to chew each bite completely. While this may seem simple, changing the way you’re chewing (or any lifelong routine) is a challenge and take time to learn. Chewing thoroughly means meals will take longer to eat, but it will also help you become more mindful when eating. Successful AspireAssist patients report that thorough chewing helps them reduce portion sizes and stop eating when they are full.

CONSIDER YOUR SUPPORT NETWORK

It is important to involve your family and the people closest to you. You will need the support of the people around you throughout this process of change. They are a major influence on your health behaviors – such as supporting your efforts to become more active and eat more healthfully, and taking time away from your usual activities to aspirate.

ALLOW TIME TO RECOVER FROM THE PROCEDURE

The procedure recovery is generally quicker than with invasive bariatric procedures. Most patients return home the same day, but some experience significant pain for the first 2-3 days. This pain can generally be managed with medications, but you may need to take a couple of days off of work or other responsibilities to allow yourself to heal.

YOU’LL HAVE REGULAR DOCTOR’S VISITS

Your physician will ask you to return to his or her office every month or two in the first year (and less frequently thereafter) to monitor your progress, check your electrolyte and other blood levels, and make sure your button site is healthy. If you have a busy work or family schedule, or live far from your doctor’s office, consider whether you can commit to the level of care required for this therapy.

 

02: Normal, Healthy Lifestyle

Losing weight shouldn’t take the fun out of life – the occasional dinners out with friends, a glass of wine with dinner, or a home-cooked meal with your family. With the AspireAssist, there are no specific restrictions on what and when you can eat and drink, although moderation is important. As you start to lose weight, you will gradually learn how to make healthy choices to match your leaner, healthier body.

The AspireAssist is a helping hand in your weight loss journey, but you will need to be committed to making this transformation! With the AspireAssist, the key to your success will be aspirating regularly after most major meals. For the most successful patients, it becomes part of their regular routine, like brushing their teeth. You will also need to learn to chew your food carefully and drink plenty of water to make sure your foods will aspirate easily.

Patients will also learn healthier behaviors through the lifestyle modification program. For many patients the early weight loss success, combined with the lifestyle modification program, encourages them to adopt a healthier lifestyle over time. Additionally, the AspireAssist may reduce the stress and anxiety around eating, further contributing to increased feelings of confidence around food and healthy eating.

03: What to Expect After the Procedure

The weight loss journey with the AspireAssist is different for everyone. This section will give you a general idea of what you can expect with this therapy in the first few days, weeks, months and beyond.

Recovery Stage (First 1 to 3 Days after the Procedure)

You have just embarked on a journey that can positively change your life and you are undoubtedly excited to get started! First though, you need to let yourself heal. Over the next week or two, the stoma, or the newly-created pathway where the tube is placed, needs to settle around the tube, much like your skin heals around a newly pierced ear. Most patients return home within an hour or two after the procedure. Your doctor will prescribe pain medications and antibiotics for you to take at home. You may experience some pain or discomfort in the first few days, but the medications will help. Patients can usually begin showering two days after the procedure, but your doctor will give you specific instructions based on your health and progress. You will also be given instructions on how to care for the stoma site.

Healing Stage (Day 3 through 7)

Patients generally return to work and resume regular activities within a few days, but it is likely you will experience some abdominal discomfort during this healing stage. Although you will have resumed your daily life, you should make sure you are caring for your stoma site and taking any medications as prescribed. By the end of this stage, your stoma site should be partially healed, and you’ll be able to take baths, swim, and exercise fully. 

Button Attachment (Day 7)

After about a week, you will return to your doctor’s office to have the button attached to the tube, right at the surface of your skin. This only takes a few minutes and is completely painless. After this visit, you’ll need to wait one more week to begin using the AspireAssist to make sure the stoma has fully healed.

AspireAssist Training Day (Day 14)

About two weeks after your procedure, your healthcare team will show you how to use the AspireAssist. After this appointment, you will take the AspireAssist kit home with you. This kit includes the small handheld device (about the size of your palm) that helps the food drain from your stomach, and a case to store the device after use. The case is small and discreet so it can be carried in a purse or briefcase. 

04: What to Expect in the First Year

GETTING STARTED WITH THE ASPIREASSIST (MONTH 1)

In the first month, many patients see weight come off very quickly! The target weight loss is about 1 to 2 pounds per week, but weight loss is likely to be even more rapid during the first few weeks. Each person’s journey will be very different, and it may take some time to get used to the device. During this time, you will begin learning how to fit it into your daily routine and how to be comfortable using the AspireAssist. By the end of the first month, patients may feel more energetic and in control of their health already. Your clothes might be fitting looser, too!

You will also be monitored carefully by your doctor to make sure you are losing weight successfully and in a healthy way. Most patients will have a follow-up visit with their physician a few weeks after starting the AspireAssist. During this visit, your healthcare provider may also adjust the length of your tube if you’ve already lost significant weight.

During this time, you may also become involved in a support group with other patients using the AspireAssist. These groups are an excellent way to stay motivated, learn from each other and stay on track throughout your journey!

CONTINUING TO SEE RESULTS (MONTH 2 – 6)

Rapid weight loss will continue if you aspirate regularly. By now, you should be aspirating more quickly and effectively. You will have established a routine that incorporates where and how aspirating fits into your day. This is the time to focus on aspirating after every meal, about 2-3 times per day. It is important that you continue to be monitored regularly by your healthcare team. Patients generally return to their physician’s office about once a month for a checkup. These visits may include blood tests to be sure your electrolyte and other blood levels stay in a healthy range, and tube adjustments as needed.

By the end of six months, patients lose about 40% of their excess weight on average¹. With these dramatic changes in weight, many patients begin to make positive changes in their lifestyle. Through the lifestyle counseling program, you will learn to make better food choices and slowly increase your physical activity levels. Over these few months, you will likely drop a size or two. Reward your hard work by shopping for some new clothes!

FOCUS ON POSITIVE LIFESTYLE CHANGES (MONTH 6 – 12)

For many patients, weight loss continues at a slower pace after 6 months. With reduced body weight, you will need to decrease the amount of calories absorbed by your body to continue losing weight. Aspirating regularly now is more important than ever. This is a great time to focus on making lifestyle changes towards a healthy, balanced life. Exercising will be easier than ever with a leaner body, and your lifestyle counseling will arm you with many tools to develop healthier eating habits.

Although your physician will continue to monitor your progress, physician visits will usually become less frequent after six months. Tube adjustments will also be less frequent now. Many patients achieve their goal weight loss by the end of their first year by continuing to aspirate regularly and making gradual changes in their lifestyle.

05: Maintaining Weight Loss

Maintaining Your Success (Year 1 and Beyond)

Once you’ve reached your goal weight, you need to stay focused on maintaining your weight loss! After one year, many patients find they are eating more healthfully than ever – eating smaller portion sizes, incorporating healthy, nutritious foods into their diet and limiting snacking. With these new eating habits, many patients can maintain their weight loss with less frequent aspirations – once per day or less. For others, they will begin to gain weight if they reduce their aspiration frequency. You and your healthcare team will work together to figure out what works best for you.

Although your physician visits will decrease after the first year, your healthcare team will continue to monitor your progress periodically. If you have a patient support group, maintaining contact with this group after one year will be important to staying motivated to keep the weight off long-term.

Removing the AspireAssist

Some patients may wish to have the AspireAssist removed after they have reached their weight loss goals. If you have made significant changes to your lifestyle, this may be possible without weight regain. We recommend that all patients stop aspirating for at least three months before having the AspireAssist removed, to determine if they can maintain their weight loss without it. Many patients choose to keep the AspireAssist in place to ensure that they maintain their weight loss.

06: Cost and Insurance

INSURANCE QUESTIONS

Our team of insurance specialists can help you navigate the process of checking your benefits, and submitting any necessary paperwork, through the Aspire Access Program. Click here to learn more, or call 1-877-203-1058 to get in touch with one of our insurance specialists today (9am-5pm, M-F).

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FINANCING

Affordable payment plans are available through a variety of lenders. Contact your physician to learn which financing options are offered in your area, and take the first step to lifelong change. 

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07: Frequently Asked Questions

P: Os pacientes comem mais para compensar as calorias aspiradas?

Não há evidências nos nossos ensaios clínicos de pacientes que usem o dispositivo como desculpa para comer mais ou que comam mais para compensar as calorias aspiradas. Com efeito, os dados clínicos indicam que os pacientes demonstram um melhor autocontrolo, menor desinibição e nenhuma tendência para comer em excesso. Estes resultados sugerem que muitos obesos consomem calorias em excesso devido a influências ambientais (stress, actividades sociais, desejo de provar alimentos específicos, etc.), ao invés de um sinal do seu corpo para consumir uma determinada quantidade de calorias por dia.

P: O AspireAssist é permanente?

É ministrada em conjunto com o AspireAssist uma terapia para um estilo de vida saudável para que os pacientes aprendam gradualmente a comer de forma saudável e a exercitar-se enquanto perdem peso. No caso dos pacientes que sejam bem-sucedidos na modificação do seu estilo de vida, o tubo poderá ser removido sem recuperação do peso perdido. Os nossos ensaios demonstram que a maioria dos pacientes que inicia esta terapia decide continuar para garantir a manutenção do peso atingido. Porém, caso o AspireAssist seja necessário para manter a perda de peso, é provável que o peso perdido regresse ao terminar a terapia.

P: Os pacientes obtêm nutrientes suficientes ao usar o AspireAssist?

A aspiração remove apenas um terço da refeição ingerida e a remoção de alimentos é uniforme. Oferece, efectivamente, um “controlo das porções” sem privações, portanto, é semelhante a seguir uma dieta de restrição calórica. Além disso, os pacientes são atentamente monitorizados para detectar algum desequilíbrio de electrólitos ou nutrientes e para garantir que a perda de peso decorre a um ritmo saudável.

P: Porque é que o sistema remove apenas 30% das calorias?

Após uma aspiração “completa” (quando o alimento deixa de escoar), cerca de 70% das calorias ainda se encontram no estômago e nos intestinos. Isto acontece por vários motivos: 1) alguns alimentos já passaram para o intestino delgado para absorção; 2) o tubo encontra-se na sua maioria na parte superior do estômago, portanto os alimentos no fundo do estômago não são aspirados; e 3) alguns alimentos não cabem no tubo. Os nossos estudos mostram que os pacientes que tentam esvaziar completamente uma refeição removem apenas 30% das calorias, em média.

P: As infecções representam um problema?

Nos ensaios clínicos, não observámos infecções relevantes, mas detectámos pequenas infecções ocasionais, que foram resolvidas mediante um tratamento conservador. Tal como acontece com os tubos PEG, o corpo “cicatriza” em redor do tubo implantado, reduzindo a susceptibilidade a infecções. Os pacientes são instruídos a inspeccionar regularmente o local em busca de vermelhidão e inflamação, e contactar imediatamente o médico caso detectem alguma alteração.

P: De que forma é o procedimento diferente da bulimia?

A bulimia é uma doença psicológica caracterizada por um consumo excessivo e descontrolado de alimentos seguido de uma purga. A bulimia não é supervisionada por médicos, enquanto o AspireAssist é utilizado sob o controlo de médicos e com monitorização exaustiva dos electrólitos e metabólitos. O AspireAssist não provoca bulimia. Uma aspiração bem-sucedida requer mastigação exaustiva e consumo mais lento dos alimentos, o que é o oposto de um episódio de ingestão excessiva e descontrolada. Um dos principais perigos da bulimia é o dano causado aos dentes e ao esófago devido aos ácidos estomacais. O AspireAssist não representa qualquer risco.

Além disso, a prevalência da obesidade entre as pessoas bulímicas é baixa. Os pacientes que pretendam iniciar a terapia com o AspireAssist serão submetidos a exames para despiste de bulimia e outras perturbações psicológicas para garantir que podem submeter-se à terapia.

P: Os pacientes podem realizar actividades normais com o AspireAssist, como tomar banho ou nadar?

Sim, uma vez cicatrizado o corpo em redor do tubo, as pessoas podem nadar, fazer exercício ou outras actividades que façam parte da sua vida normal com o AspireAssist!

P: Quando será o AspireAssist disponibilizado?

O AspireAssist recebeu a aprovação da marcação CE para venda na Europa em Dezembro de 2011 e encontra-se actualmente disponível, com algumas limitações, na Europa e noutras regiões seleccionadas. O AspireAssist encontra-se actualmente em investigação nos EUA, não sendo ainda comercializável no país. Embora esperemos obter a aprovação da FDA no futuro, não sabemos quando poderemos comercializar o dispositivo nos EUA.

08: Success Stories

See what AspireAssist users are saying about their weight loss journeys, and how they achieved success with the AspireAssist!