A new and controversial weight loss procedure has tongues wagging, literally. The tongue patch diet is the latest fad for those looking for a quick way to slim down: A Prolene mesh patch sewn into the tongue to cause pain and prevent the consumption of solid foods, allegedly leading to rapid weight loss.
The creator of the procedure, Dr. Nikolas Chugay, said he decided to incorporate the surgery into his practice in 2009 after concerns of the growing obesity crisis currrently plaging the U.S., the Daily Mail reports. Chugay claims on his official YouTube channel that patients who have already opted to try the patch have lost 20 to 30 pounds within the first month of use and up to 55 pounds for those who utilized its services for eight weeks.
Despite concerns the procedure isn’t ethical due to reports that it causes patients pain (the procedure is not yet FDA-approved), Chugay said the patch is safer than other methods used to lose weight. “It’s a much safer procedure than a lap-band procedure," he said. "It doesn’t carry the tremendous complications that are involved with something like a lap band. Patients get to their work the same day after the tongue patch.”
The patch, which is placed on the top of the tongue, uses Prolene, a nonabsorbable material used for skin closure to prevent patients from being able to consume solids, resulting in a strictly liquid diet for its two-month shelf life. Chugay, who said users take in an estimated 800 calories per day after the procedure, also lose weight with the help of an exercise program and are recommend to participate in psychological evaluations.
“It gives me a chance to retrain, to really help the patients, to modify their way of eating, their way of exercising. It’s a lifestyle modification that we are accomplishing with the patients,” he said. “Patients are extremely happy with their weight loss.”
The Daily Mail reports that the buzzed-about procedure costs $2,000 per visit. Only 60 patients have reportedly undergone the procedure at Chugay Cosmetic Surgery Medical Clinic Inc. in Beverly Hills, Calif. The procedure is reportedly already widley popular at one clinic in Venezuela, where one worker stated that an estimated 900 clients elect to get the patch every month.
Chugay previously made headlines after revealing on “Dr. Drew On Call” that he performed many of the dozens of surgical procedures on 32-year-old "Human Ken Doll" Justin Jedlica.