By Jane Nambi
A new measure to help one lose weight has people’s eyebrows rise.
The measure requires an operation which involves planting a plastic mesh in the tongue. The mesh makes it hard for one to eat solid food because it would be painful for the person. Two people who tried it out lost 20 pounds in 30 days after implanting the mesh.
I’m determined to lose weight,” said Lanuza. “In a month’s time I’ll be going to Hawaii and I’ll be wearing a bikini and hopefully I’ll be looking great.” Lanuza loves eating pretty much everything, and so does Beltran who happens to want to get a man in her life. “I’m just really motivated because I am almost 21, and I do have plans and I want to look my best and feel good,” Beltran said.
The mesh was started in the United States by cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Nikolas Chugay. He introduced the procedure four years ago after first seeing it done in Latin America. “As you’re swallowing, say, a cheeseburger or something, that tongue is pushing things up against the roof of the mouth and back into the throat,” explained Chugay. “And so while it’s doing that, it’s going to basically be uncomfortable if you have that on top of the sutures, which are basically fishing line. So now you have two little sharp points on the tongue, rubbing up against the top of the mouth, and it’s going to be uncomfortable.”
To get the procedure done, it takes about 10 minutes. Chugay said he has not encountered any risks or infections and no patients have swallowed the patch. The average weight loss is anywhere from 18 to 20 pounds. The price tag is $2,000.
Lanuza was Chugay’s 81st patient who now has a strict 800-calorie per day liquid diet of juice, broth and protein shakes until the patch is removed in one month. “I am actually terrified of eating solid food, just thinking about having that much pain,” she said.
However, some do not think the procedure is good enough. “I think it’s a barbaric procedure,” said Dr. Rob Huizenga, who specializes in long-term weight loss and has spent 14 seasons as an expert on the television program “The Biggest Loser.” “This is so primitive an approach. You could hire somebody to hold a gun to your head and threaten to shoot you every time you eat. The idea that you put this patch in and every time you even take one morsel of solid food you get this stabbing pain, who the heck knows what the long-term consequences of that are.”