Treating obesity using a non-invasive means is possible soon, thanks to the stomach pump.
An invention that has been detailed in a US patent application offers hope to overweight people of a treatment for obesity without the invasive surgery and drawbacks of a gastric bypass.
The idea, published by Aspire Bariatrics of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is to let patients eat and drink as much as they like and the they can later drain their stomach almost 20 minutes after a meal by connecting a pump to a valve surgically installed on their abdominal wall.
The system has not been is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration but some patients were said to have lost an average of 20 kilograms in one year in early clinical trials, the New Scientist reported.
The bizarre idea has a strong inventive pedigree, springing partly from the mind of Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway self-balancing human transporter. Kamen is also active in the field of medical devices, and the patent lists him as a co-inventor alongside many of the Aspire Bariatrics executive team.
The technique, which has been developed by Dean Kamen - inventor of the Segway self-balancing human transporter - is supposedly less surgically invasive than the many variants of gastric bypass surgery.
This could help patients avoid some of the bizarre hormonal and psychological effects experienced post-operatively.
However, the patent itself shows that there's a way to go before this food extraction idea can become acceptable in terms of making it pump out the vast array of foods humans consume.