There is a dangerous weight loss fad in Beverly Hills, and it's not pretty. In order to lose as many as 30 pounds in a single month, patients are having postage-stamp size pieces of rough plastic sewn onto their tongues, making it impossible for them to eat.
The plastic is attached with six stitches and left in place for up to one month. It makes eating solid food so painful that the patient is forced to drink only liquids, which causes rapid weight loss. The procedure was developed by Dr. Nikolas Chugay, whose California clinic is the only place in the United States that offers the surgery, which has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
"I see no harm in a minimally invasive procedure to help that overweight/obese patient," wrote Dr. Chugay, who calls it a "Miracle Patch" in response to critics on YouTube. "This procedure is not the solution to the person's problems but a way in which we can create a pattern to interrupt and help that patient get back on course." He pairs the procedure with a special 800-calorie liquid diet to maximize weight loss.
He may call it minimally invasive, but the plastic patch is still plenty risky. On his website, Dr. Chugay warns that patients may experience tongue swelling for one to two days after the operation, and that "speech may be affected during this time." The patch is made of marlex, a material usually used during hernia repair, and must be removed after a month otherwise the tongue starts to grow around and into it.
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Dentists, what do you think of this procedure? Would you perform it in your office? DentistryIQ would love to hear your feedback. Visit community.pennwelldentalgroup.com to let us know what you think of this latest weight loss tactic.