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Duphalac (Lactulose)

Carla DeKok, 29, of Fort Morgan, Colorado, tipped the scales at 248 pounds on April 29, 1982. On that day, she went under the surgeon’s knife in a last-ditch effort to take off those pounds. At 5 feet, 5 1/2 inches, she was almost twice her ideal weight.
Like most obese persons, Ms. DeKok had failed in all weight-loss attempts. Finally, fearing that his wife’s weight could kill her, Dennis DeKok told her on their wedding anniversary, “You know what you can give me for our anniversary? Fifty more years. Have the surgery.”
In the months following the operation, Ms. DeKok achieved a weight of 149, down 99 pounds. Her coat size went from 26 1/2 to 14. Infertile before surgery, she has since had two babies. Her stomach capacity shrank from quart size to the size of a couple of tablespoons. It cannot hold big meals. If she tries to overeat, she immediately feels stuffed.
The operation she had is called a vertical-banded gastroplasty. It was developed by Dr. Edward E. Mason, professor of general surgery at the University of Iowa College of Medicine in Iowa City. Dr. Mason creates a small pouch at the opening of the stomach. At the bottom of the pouch, he places a plastic ring so that the exit cannot grow larger.
Dr. Mason estimates that 30,000 persons a year undergo surgery for obesity, most of them having their stomachs “pouched.” There is some risk. About one person in 200 dies from the surgery or its complications. Some patients require surgery later to correct problems that result from the pouch.
There is no proof that patients live longer because of such surgery, but they do lose pounds as well as their symptoms of diabetes and high blood pressure. And their arthritis symptoms are relieved, even if their ideal weight is not reached. Overall, most experts consider this surgery only as the last resort.

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