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It is surprising to come across procedures such as “Weight Loss Tongue Patch” that are being performed now. Chugay et.al. (American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery, Vol.31, No. 1, 2014 26-33) reported a series of 81 patients with a mean weight loss of 16 lbs. (range 0-16.8). They concluded “While maintaining a strict low-calorie diet plan and adhering to a regular exercise regimen, patients using a tongue patch can achieve significant weight loss over a 30-day period, with relatively minimal procedural risk.
The “logic” of this procedure is that placing a mesh on the tongue makes swallowing painful and difficult. The patient is forced to maintain a liquid diet and this causes thus weight loss reported above.
The science and research of weight loss surgical procedures has centered around the metabolic aspect of obesity. Over the years we have moved away from the simple notion of obesity being only a function of over eating and lack of physical activity. The premise that obesity is a disease of energy imbalance is unproven to say the least.
In my opinion, this is a step backward in the surgical treatment of obesity. I always tell my patients to do their research before signing up for a procedure. This procedure is similar to tried and failed wiring of the jaws. It only created a short-term weight loss that is no more effective than any diet. The notion that a patient should be punished with pain to loose weight should not be tolerated by anyone.
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