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For many, the battle to reach a healthy weight is long-fought, with ups and downs and endless frustrations. Washington University Physicians offers a clear path to weight-loss success through the Washington University Nonsurgical Weight Loss Program. Dr. Vlad Kushnir, a Washington University gastroenterologist, details one option available to those seeking a monumental win with their weight: aspiration therapy.

“Aspiration therapy requires the patient to be self-motivated,” he notes. “This isn’t for somebody who runs around all day. This works better for those who have a fairly predictable schedule and can plan their meals ahead of time.”

The Food and Drug Administration requires potential patients check off a few additional boxes before undergoing the procedure. The patient cannot have certain medical conditions or have undergone previous stomach surgeries. The patient must also be above age 22, and possess a body mass index between 35 and 55. Henry, a patient of Kushnir’s, met these requirements and underwent the unique therapy.

“Henry is part of a big baseball family,” Kushnir details. “He coaches his son’s baseball team. He’s done remarkably well with aspiration therapy. This weight loss has allowed him to become more active and more involved in the lives of his family.”

Patients of the Washington University Nonsurgical Weight Loss program participate in follow-up appointments, up to five years afterward.

“Unlike any other weight-loss procedure, the folks who keep up with aspiration therapy really don’t see weight rebound,” Kushnir describes. “People who are aspirating have made the lifestyle changes to help them keep the weight off. They’ve been doing so for years now, gradually losing the weight, and have finally come to a steady state.”

The procedure requires a tube insertion in a patient’s stomach. Patients should devote 30 minutes to an hour to consume each meal and allow for time afterward to aspirate. Drinking two to three cups of water per a meal and thoroughly chewing each bite is necessary to ensure proper aspiration. As a natural result, patients learn to recognize when they are full, due to slower consumption and more water intake.

“Aspiration therapy is with you as long as you are interested in doing it,” Kushnir says. “Once people are ready, we do another endoscopic procedure to remove the aspiration tube.”

“At Washington University Physicians, we also offer a full range of weight-loss procedures and services,” he adds. “We have a medical weight management clinic, as well as a comprehensive bariatric surgery program and bariatric endoscopy program of which I am the director.”

The war on weight now has a capable opponent, when you partner with Washington University Physicians.

Find out if you are a candidate

314-362-2652. Appointments at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, Medical Office Building 3, 1020 N. Mason Road, Suite 100, Creve Coeur, 63141; wuphysicians.wustl.edu/weightloss

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