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Patch Sewn onto the Tongue Makes Solid Food Intolerable for Dieters

How far would you go to lose weight? In Venezuela, beauty-conscious women who don’t have the willpower to go on a diet have plastic patches the size of a postage stamp sewn onto their tongues, which makes the consumption of solid foods extremely painful.

The so-called “Miracle Patch” weight loss method was invented in 2009, by Nikolas Chugay, a plastic surgeon from Beverly Hills who wanted to offer his patients an effective way to shed extra pounds without the risks of invasive surgical procedures. But while it can help people shed up to 30lbs a month, having the patch sewn on the top of the tongue does come with a series of side-effects. Some patients experience speech difficulties, while others have trouble sleeping, not to mention the excruciating pain felt when trying to move the tongue after it’s been patched up. The abrasive patch is made of marlex, a material  commonly used to repair hernias, and contains pores that make it adhere to the tongue if left on for too long. “The material has pores which allow for in-growth of tissue. If you leave it in for more than a month it starts to become incorporated into the tongue,” says Paul Chugay, who works with his father Nikolas at their Los Angeles practice. After that period, patients consult with nutritionists to keep their weight under control.

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