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House episode
Episode no. HOU-116
Airdate March 29, 2005
Writer(s) Thomas L. Moran
Director(s) Fred Gerber
Final diagnosis Cushing's Disease
Episode chronology
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"Mob Rules" "Role Model"

"Heavy" is the sixteenth episode of the first season of House, which premiered on the FOX network on March 29, 2005. A 10-year-old obese girl is admitted after suffering a cardial attack during gym class at school. House and the team attempt to solve the case while Vogler continues to pressure House to fire a member of his staff.


While exercising at school, an obese girl named Jessica (Jennifer Stone) complains of chest pains and then has a cardiac attack. As House announces to his team that Vogler is forcing him to fire one of his staff members, tension rises between them. The team starts with theories related to Jessica's weight. Jessica's mother disputes that Jessica's weight is the issue.

Throughout the episode, Vogler visits each of the three fellows without House's knowledge and talks to them individually to see how they feel regarding the situation. It is revealed that Chase has been giving him information. Tension worsens as Cameron and Chase try to impress House and accuse each other of medical mistakes.

Jessica begins to become irrational during testing as she apparently becomes hypoglycemic and the doctors are forced to sedate her. The lab tests prove negative for hypoglycemia and they suspect she may be taking diet pills. Foreman investigates Jessica's background and confirms she was taking diet pills. Jessica admits she was taking them so she wouldn't be "disgusting" anymore and they conclude they're responsible, but then starts bleeding from necrosis on her chest. They think radical mastectomy, amputation of her breasts, to be the only way to stop the necrosis from spreading.

As they prepare Jessica for surgery, Chase deduces that her obesity is a symptom along with her stunted growth. House then concludes it's Cushing's syndrome, which causes hyper-cortisol levels that account for her symptoms. They use an MRI to locate the source of the hyper-cortisolism. They find a tumor on the pituitary gland that accounts for the symptoms. Using surgery, they successfully remove Jessica's tumor and she starts losing weight.

Meanwhile, House treats a woman who has a 30-pound tumor on her ovaries, but doesn't want it surgically removed because it won't kill her. House figures out that she's having an affair with someone who likes her body.

A flash forward shows Jessica in an exam room for a follow-up appointment, presumably a few months later. Doctors Chase, Cameron, and Foreman are all present, foreshadowing that the result of any disputes with Vogler will be resolved.

In the end of the episode, House tells Vogler that he will fire Chase. However, Vogler refuses and tells him to pick someone else, or else the whole diagnostic department will be shelved.


The song "Got to Be More Careful" by Jon Cleary is played at the end.

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