7 On Your Side:Acupuncture Ear Stapling - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

6/5/06-Tyler

7 On Your Side:Acupuncture Ear Stapling

7 On Your Side talked to four women, on their quest to lose weight, who called on a company named Natural Weight Loss advertising acupuncture ear stapling. "If we can help each other and do this together, let's go do it!," says Carmen Delsaulniers about first considering the procedure. So they went to the Tyler business and got tiny staples in their ear. They paid $85 for one ear, or $110 to have both ears stapled. "We watched a video when we were in there. All it shows is your ear, the staple clamps and pinches a nerve that goes to your stomach to let you know that you're fuller," says Tamara Rogers. "It's kind of like a chiropractor bench type table. [I] laid down on that, turned my ear to the right, he put it in there, raised me off the table and I was out of there. That was the whole office visit," says Donna Alford. As time went by not only did they not see results, but all four of these women complained of pain around the staple itself and, for some of them, pain in their face. "It hurt all the way to my jaw line, it would hurt when you chew your food," says Carmen. Barbara McGovern has a sore developing on her staple. "This one hurts, this one hurts," says Barbara pointing to her ear. These women all want their staples removed, but when they called the company back they were no where to be found. We visited the business to also find their doors locked and immediately called the Texas Department of State Health Services to find out why. 7 On Your Side learned that Natural Weight Loss is being investigated by the department for possible misuse of the stapling device. Officials say the staples in these women's ears are made to close incisions after a surgery, they are not FDA approved to be stapled in the ear for weight loss. The stapling device is only supposed to be used on one person and then discarded. Health department officials believe Natural Weight Loss may have been using the same device on multiple patients. "Now that they're closed again, now that you have told us it`s because of the health department, you're like 'wow!'," says Carmen in disbelief. These women are now stuck finding a doctor to remove their staples, and it's back to basics on their mission to get the perfect body. "Lose weight the old fashioned way, diet and exercise!" exclaims Donna.

If you received these ear staples from Natural Weight Loss and are having problems, the Texas Department of State Health Services says you can contact them to file a complaint. Our attempts to reach the owner of Natural Weight Loss or the doctors who worked there were unsuccessful.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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