A Tongue Patch For Weight Loss? - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

A Tongue Patch For Weight Loss?

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How far would you go to lose nearly 20 pounds in a month? Erica Renteria was a little bit nervous and a little bit excited. "When I want to lose weight because I have something important coming up I don't care how I lose it" she said.

Unable to stick to a diet on her own, Erica consulted cosmetic surgeon Dr. Nicolas Chugay about his unique offering. The tongue patch. As weight loss surgeries go, this is a small procedure. She admits "it's uncomfortable."

Dr. Chugay starts by numbing the tongue. He's getting it ready for the patch. It's no bigger than a postage stamp. The doctor applies apply a small prolene mesh to the tongue and then sutures it with several stitches. Once the tongue patch is in place Dr. Chugay says Erica won't *want* to eat solid food. "Because it's uncomfortable. You have little whiskers from the sutures and you have the little patch." It has a little bit of a rough surface.

To cope with the pain Dr. Chugay prescribes a liquid diet. Its done under local anesthesia and takes anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes to perform. The patch can be removed any time by snipping the sutures. For safety reasons, Dr. Chugay says it *must* be removed after 30 days. "I've had patients lose as much as 50 pounds but most of them will lose 20 -25 30 pounds and be happy with that weight loss." Erica's goal... 20 pounds.

The tongue patch has now been implanted in 83 patients. Doctor Chugay tells us the average weight loss is 16 pounds and that 70 percent of patients maintained that weight loss at their four month follow up visit.

Doctor Chugay is still the only U.S. doctor offering the patch. It costs $2000. In Venezuela you can reportedly get it for $125.

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