Medicine: To Freeze or Not to Freeze?

When they concentrated on their own work, the U.S. surgeons had a hot time over a cool, cool question: Is it a good thing to freeze the human stomach to suppress the nagging pain of duodenal ulcer and—hopefully—to heal the ulcer?

Deceptively Simple. The argument began in 1958, when the University of Minnesota's aggressively pioneering professor of surgery, Owen H. Wangensteen, described a deceptively simple treatment for a notoriously stubborn illness. He and his colleagues get the patient to swallow a plastic tube with a balloon at the end. When the balloon is...

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