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Soviet surgeon removed own appendix

Posted on Tuesday, 15 March, 2011 | Comment icon 28 comments | News tip by: Bracket

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In an incredible feat of courage and skill a surgeon in the 1960s removed his own appendix in Antarctica.

Leonid Rogozov was stationed in 1961 at a Russian base in Antarctica when he started to feel very ill and experienced excrutiating pain leading him to realise he was suffering from appendicitis. With only 12 men at the base and with him being the only physician he realised that his only chance to survive was to perform an operation on himself.

"Operating mostly by feeling around, Rogozov worked for an hour and 45 minutes, cutting himself open and removing the appendix."

  View: Full article |  Source: The Atlantic

  Discuss: View comments (28)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #19 Posted by Blizno on 16 March, 2011, 0:18
That is hardcore. Unless they did a spinal block, he had to have been feeling some serious pain while he was cutting himself. A simple local anesthetic would have been plenty, but I don't know if such things were available there and then. A dosing with morphine (probably easily available in medical supplies at the time) would have blocked major pain but would also have affected his surgical skills. I can't help but revisit the movie Master and Commander when the ship's doctor has no choice but to operate on himself to remove the musket ball and bit of his own shirt that are killing him. People... [More]
Comment icon #20 Posted by Blizno on 16 March, 2011, 0:27
Yea, I was waiting for an "In Soviet Russia..." joke too. My concern is that he did it without gloves. Post operative infection is one of the most feared complications. Soldiers on the battlefield have had spears, arrows, swords, etc. introduced into their flesh for millenia. Lots of them died after the battle was over from infections but many survived. Having one's abdomen opened is very bad news but it's not necessarily a death sentence, even before people got used to the idea that animalcules much too small to see could possibly harm a sturdy, healthy soldier and that surgeons might want to... [More]
Comment icon #21 Posted by tipotep on 16 March, 2011, 0:53
He was one hard dude , seriously can you imagine opening yourself up and operating ? I sure as hell cant ! TiP.
Comment icon #22 Posted by Bracket on 16 March, 2011, 1:36
Here's a wikipedia page on the doctor.
Comment icon #23 Posted by TheMcGuffin on 16 March, 2011, 2:16
They certainly found out the hard way just how tough those Russians could be:
Comment icon #24 Posted by paul the walrus on 21 March, 2011, 4:37
I would be more impressed if he reinserted it then if he removed
Comment icon #25 Posted by clyde barrow on 21 March, 2011, 19:14
I can see Putin doing something like this.
Comment icon #26 Posted by ThePitOfReason on 9 April, 2011, 6:21
Well thats about as much of a doctor as you can be when you can not only operate on others but your own body as well. He should have got a medal for it. Just not sure what medal!
Comment icon #27 Posted by scaredsilly on 9 April, 2011, 7:52
Comment icon #28 Posted by boos2u on 9 April, 2011, 13:48
"A snowstorm whipping through my soul, wailing like a hundred jackals." Yeah, I guess THAT would make you decide to go ahead and take it out. I bet no one messed with him after that! "Oh yeah, well I removed my own appendix! Ha, how will you top that?" If Putin could bend over that far, he would bite his appendix out and then spit it on the floor.

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