Surgery: Bypassing the Small Bowel

When the unhappy clerical worker consulted Dr. Manrico Troncelliti of Pennsylvania's Sacred Heart Hospital in Norristown, he seemed a veritable caricature of obesity. He was 5 ft. 2 in. tall and weighed 376 lbs. He could hardly walk a city block and not tie his own shoelaces. He had a bleeding ulcer on his leg that refused to heal—a common problem of the grossly overweight.

Satisfied that both diet and drugs had already been tried, Dr. Troncelliti decided on heroic measures. He prescribed a jejuno-colostomy (short-circuiting most of the small bowel), an operation...

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