Medicine: A Better Operation

John Doe had a hernia 15 years ago—and he still talks about his operation. It was certainly something to remember. There was that terrible three weeks in the hospital: the retching, agonizing hangover when he came out of the ether, the two weeks flat on his back (not eating, not sleeping) and his belly a constant, burning torment. Months after he was back at work, he felt something like a big hole where the scalpel had slit his muscles; and for years he looked with awed distaste at the lumpy, four-inch scar on...

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