When Albert Pagliuca got gallstones, his surgeon offered to remove his gallbladder with a new operation designed to hurt less, get him back to work more quickly and leave no visible scars. But there was one catch: Doctors would pull the organ out through his mouth.
"I kept thinking, 'What if it gets stuck in my windpipe?' " said Pagliuca, 45, who lives outside Chicago. " 'What if I choke on it?' "