Clinique Michel Gagner was recently featured in Le Journal de Montreal for performing the country’s first non-invasive bariatric surgery of its kind, called aspiration therapy. The surgery will be performed on Hélène Sénécal-Blanchet, a Quebecoise woman suffering from obesity and diabetes. Invented in the United States, aspiration therapy was first approved last year in Canada, but has been used in Europe since 2012.
The Difference Between Aspiration Therapy and Bariatric Surgery
Unlike other forms of bariatric surgery, aspiration therapy requires zero removal of the stomach. A laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, for example, involves the removal of up to 85% of the stomach pouch. After an LSG procedure, the patient will experience satiation sooner as their stomach volume is significantly reduced. While safe, LSG procedures do require general anesthesia and are not reversible.
Aspiration therapy, or AspireAssist, is a whole new approach to weight loss surgery. Instead of removing the patient’s stomach volume, a tube is inserted into the patient’s stomach and out the abdomen, where food can be disposed of in the toilet via a button that is attached to the patient’s skin. By disposing of the food before it is digested, the patient will not absorb as many calories, which can therefore lead to weight loss. Patients are required to replace their AspireAssist kit every year, and the treatment is completely reversible.
More About Aspiration Therapy
AspireAssist costs roughly $9,000 compared to the $13,000 to $20,000 price tag attached to other bariatric surgeries. So far, aspiration therapy is only available through the private sector. With such a long waiting list for obese patients to receive proper bariatric care in this country, therapies like AspireAssist could significantly reduce wait times for people in need.