As obesity concerns grow, a plethora of bizarre treatments are making their way to what is becoming a lucrative market within the weight loss industry.
One treatment raising particular concern among doctors is the AspireAssist system, which works to expel food from the stomach via a tube that feeds to an external portal on the user's skin where they can manually drain their gut contents after eating. In short, it works like a tap attached to your belly.
While the product is US Food and Drug Administration-approved, doctors worry it's one of several treatments not being sufficiently researched before being approved, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
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Manufactured in the US, its developers claim that, if used 20 minutes after a meal, around 30 per cent of food can be excreted before calories are absorbed into the body.
But leading gastroenterologist Matthew Remedios has labelled the product "medical bulimia" and disagrees with the process.
"You have to wonder what we're doing. I'm not saying it's right or wrong but, as a community, we have finite resources and we are spending it on devices like this."
He said while there is "an exciting number of procedures coming and implantable devices and manoeuvres we can do" he expressed concern over ideas moving from entrepreneurial forums and into the real world "when they aren't being looked at in a research setting with large numbers."
Dr Remedios, who spoke at the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists conference in Brisbane on Sunday, noted another weight loss treatment, which involves balloons filled with solution and inserted into the stomach as a means to reduce hunger, should also be considered with caution.
And laproscopic sleeves, which require stitching to reduce stomach size, have also not been researched widely enough, he says.
He questioned what the long term implications for laproscopic sleeve procedures will be, asking "What happens at 10 years? Have they kept the weight off? That worries me."
Already, the fact that public hospitals have to fit the bills for botched weight-loss procedures is stirring frustrations, he says.