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The Dangers of Ear Stapling

Americans have spent many years searching for fast methods to drop extra pounds — typically with out worrying an excessive amount of about security. Approaches just like the cabbage soup food regimen, the air food regimen and the tapeworm food regimen (all of that are precisely what they sound like) are virtually designed to make folks sick.

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About 10 years in the past, a brand new weight-loss process appeared on the horizon: ear stapling. Fortunately, its glory days are behind it now, however some folks nonetheless undergo this unproven, unsafe and largely unregulated observe, all in an try to slim down.

We talked to weight problems drugs specialist Shweta Diwakar, MD about this weird fad and the hazards it poses.

What is ear stapling?

Ear stapling is strictly what it seems like: It’s the observe of inserting a surgical staple into the cartilage of your internal ear. The course of is (very) loosely derived from acupuncture, particularly auricular acupuncture.

You could already be acquainted with reflexology, a therapeutic massage remedy method constructed on the philosophy that completely different components of the foot correspond to completely different components of your physique. Auricular acupuncture operates from the identical primary premise: Your ear is, basically, a mini-you, with the cartilage barely above the tragus representing your urge for food. 

In acupuncture, small needles are inserted into completely different components of the physique for 10 to fifteen minutes. Ear stapling trades the acupuncture needle for a small, skinny surgical staple, which — after being positioned — will get left within the ear for wherever from just a few weeks to a number of months.

In most instances, practitioners cost by the staple — and as you may anticipate — they normally suggest getting each ears carried out. Supposedly, the consequences of the staple “wear off” after some time, so the process must be repeated over and over.

Theoretically, the surgical staple regularly stimulates your stomach organs, thereby suppressing your urge for food. Because you’re much less hungry, you’ll eat much less. And then, voila! Weight loss. Simple, proper?

It virtually sounds too good to be true.

And it’s.

Are there any actual advantages?

If you Google “ear stapling,” you’ll see testimonials from folks claiming it helped them drop extra pounds. You’ll additionally see some devotees assert that it eliminates migraines, nicotine cravings and insomnia.

What you gained’t see is any scientific proof to again these claims up or medical doctors extolling the observe’s well being advantages. There’s some evidence supporting using auricular acupuncture for weight reduction, however — whereas some acupuncturists supply the service — ear stapling isn’t the identical factor as auricular acupuncture.

The lack of scientific proof supporting ear stapling for weight reduction is likely one of the causes most states don’t regulate it — there’d must be some proof that the observe is professional, and there isn’t any. There’s additionally some debate over whether or not this process is beauty or medical in nature, because it doesn’t improve one’s look or confer any well being advantages.

The lack of regulation successfully implies that, in most states, anyone can staple your ear. Dr. Diwakar says that’s dangerous information as a result of “It can be dangerous if done without maintaining proper safety precautions or if done by an untrained practitioner.”

Potential dangers/unwanted effects

Stapling your ears could sound like a joke, however the hazard is actual — rather more actual than the remedy itself.  

Surgeons sometimes make use of staples when wounds are giant or complicated, and — until they’re utilizing the staples internally — take away them inside two weeks. In the case of ear stapling, you’re creating a wound, not closing it, and also you’re leaving the staples in for weeks, typically, months at a time.

Not solely does the process misuse a surgical software, however you’re additionally the individual in command of wound take care of nevertheless lengthy the staples are left in your ears. You’re successfully leaving a overseas object in your physique with out medical professionals’ supervision. That’s a recipe for an infection and doable deformity. Healthcare suppliers are fast to notice that any an infection might result in severe unwanted effects, and will even be deadly in some instances.

In different phrases, you gained’t drop extra pounds, however you might lose your ear. If you develop an antibiotic-resistant an infection like MRSA, you may even lose your life.

Dr. Diwakar’s recommendation is easy: “Don’t do it.”

What to do as a substitute

If you stumbled upon this text as a result of standard approaches to weight reduction, like food regimen and train, haven’t been profitable, you could be a bit discouraged.

“Weight loss is definitely a frustrating journey,” Dr. Diwakar notes, “but my advice is please don’t give up. Obesity is a chronic condition. It’s a multifactorial condition. But it’s also a treatable condition. There are several proven and safe weight-loss strategies, and the science behind weight loss is evolving. There are many new medications available, and still more in the pipeline.”

Putting surgical staples in your ears isn’t a protected possibility, however surgical procedure might be.

“Different bariatric surgeries have been shown to be very effective and can produce sustainable weight loss,” Dr. Diwakar states. She explains that the advantages of bariatric surgical procedure transcend weight reduction. Her sufferers have seen long-term Type 2 diabetes remission, in addition to enchancment in sleep apnea and cardiovascular well being.

If you’re searching for assist dropping pounds, Dr. Diwakar suggests talking along with your main care doctor or seeing an weight problems drugs specialist. They’ll allow you to discover a weight reduction technique that’s best for you, and doesn’t contain pointless damage.

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