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Update: The weight loss ear staple
March 1, 2006 04:30 PM
(Photo: Tony Stizza, KFOR-TV-DT)
(Photo: Tony Stizza, KFOR-TV-DT)


OKLAHOMA CITY -- NewsChannel 4 introduced you to a procedure in May called the weight loss ear staple. The claim was that a small staple inside your ear can help you lose weight. Since our report, several people in Oklahoma began inserting the staples without a license.

In the state of Oklahoma a license is not required. As the procedure soared in popularity, so have some cases of infection.

“I think it sounds like one of those get-rich schemes, or the new diet for today," says Tesha Arms.

Tesha Arms didn't let her skepticism stop her from getting staples in both ears. She wanted a change in view atop her scale.
Tesha had her ears stapled by Robin Gibson, a registered nurse with a medical license.

“Make sure you don't touch them," RN, Robin Gibson tells Tesha.

In September, Robin Gibson, RN rented a booth at the state fair where lines of ladies waited their turn for the latest weight loss rage.

“It's cool, hey, I like this," said one person who got the staple.

“Dieting just doesn't work, so I'm hoping that this helps," said another.

“I had one friend that's lost 20 pounds so far," said one of those at the fair’s booth.

Another user said, "I hope it starts working, ha ha."

The staple is strategically placed inside the ear near the stomach acupuncture point.  Robin Gibson says in the past eight months that she has been stapling, 90 percent of her 1200 clients have lost weight, including her biggest skeptic of all; her husband.

"Finally I gave in and she placed the staples in my ear, three and a half weeks in I had lost 19 pounds," Robin’s husband says.

Robin Gibson has also seen several people coming to her for help after receiving infections from back-alley ear staplers.
"I've had people come to me that actually had a ripped cartilage,” Gibson says. “I have taken staples out that are huge."

Gibson removed the staples from Jessica Baeriswyl collection of ear piercing. Jessica says she was stapled by a woman working out of her vehicle. 

"When I pushed on it, stuff would come out the holes. It came out of the top hole and the bottom hole where the staple was. It was real hard for me to open my mouth; it was hard for me to chew and stuff like that. It was just unbearable; I couldn't sleep on it or anything."

Gibson admits she has seen a one percent infection rate among the ears she has stapled, but because of her medical history, she also knows how to treat and help prevent future infections.
That is why she is now pushing the state to require anyone who carries an ear stapling gun to also carry a medical background. 
"This state right now allows anybody and everybody to do ear stapling, and that's very scary," Robin Gibson says.

Some say ear stapling is a form or body piercing, which the State Health Department regulates by requiring a license.

Others say stapling is more like ear piercing, which does not require a license. State officials say the art of ear stapling is so new, it simply slipped through the system.

While they debate the issue NewsChannel 4 checked back with Tesha.

"I would recommend it just because it was simple," Tesha says.

Two months after our first interview Tesha had no infection and she was ten pounds lighter on her feet.

"I'm excited about that," Tesha says.

NewsChannel 4 checked back with the four women in our story whose ears were stapled at the state fair. Two of the women say they lost no weight the other two lost a combined 16 pounds. None of them received infections.

Before you have your ears stapled, you will want to ask the person performed the procedure how many procedures the person has performed, along with their success rate and who trained them. Also, you should ask for references and pay close attention to his or her sanitary conditions.

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