Cristina Iaboni had the dubious distinction of being not quite obese enough. For all the pounds on her 5'5" frame, she did not meet the criteria for bariatric surgery to help control her type-2 diabetes.
Yet six years of medications and attempts at healthy living had failed to rein in her blood glucose, leaving Iaboni terrified that she was on course to have her kidneys fail "and my feet cut off" -- common consequences of uncontrolled diabetes.
Then the 45-year-old Connecticut wife, mother of two and head of human resources for a Fortune 500 company, lucked out. In 2009 she met with Dr Francisco Rubino of Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York. He had just received approval to study experimental surgery on diabetics with a relatively lean weight-to-height ratio, or body-mass index (BMI). Iaboni was among his first subjects.