Robot stitches a grape back together


Here's a da Vinci Surgical System robot performing a delicate operation on a grape. Read the rest

Police officer swallowed 40 knives because he "felt like eating" them


In Amritsar, India, surgeons removed 40 knives from a police officer complaining of stomach pain.

"Patient's ultrasound revealed a growth in his stomach," Dr. Jatinder Malhotra, managing director of The Corporate Hospital, told the Times of India. "To confirm the diagnosis, an endoscopy was done which showed a few metallic knives inside the stomach. After that a CT Scan of the abdomen was done, which showed multiple knives inside the stomach."

During the last two months, said the 40-year-old patient, "I felt like eating knives and ate them."

The surgery took five hours and the patient is expected to make a full recovery. The news report references that he has a "psychological problem" but does not specify if it is pica, a disorder in which an individual is compelled to eat material that isn't food, such as paper, hair, or rocks.

Read the rest

Very weird looking synthetic dog for surgical training


Tampa, Florida company SynDaver Labs, makers of fake body parts for clinical training and studies (as seen on Mythbusters), has developed a synthetic canine to be operated on by veterinary students learning surgery.

"It bleeds, it breathes, it can even die,” veterinarian David Danielson told MyNews13.

From SynDaver Labs:

Thousands of shelter dogs are used each year in surgical training at veterinary colleges around the globe. Some of these animals are euthanized before delivery to the schools and some are delivered alive to be used in terminal labs, where the animals are euthanized after.

The SynDaver faux dog costs nearly $30,000 and the company has launched an Indiegogo campaign to donate the synthetic canines to vet colleges.

. Read the rest

Doctors perform first penis transplant in U.S.


Thomas Manning, 64, is recovering after receiving the first penis transplant in the United States. Manning had his penis amputated in 2012 due to penile cancer. It took 15 hours for surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital to complete the transplant, medically known as a "gentitourinary vascularized composite allograft." The surgery involved "grafting the complex microscopic vascular and neural structures of a donor organ onto the comparable structures of the recipient." According to the surgeons, the procedure could someday be used for gender reconstruction. From CNN:

Dr. Dicken Ko, director of the hospital's Regional Urology Program, said the objectives of the surgery were primarily to reconstruct the genitalia so that it appeared natural, followed by urinary function and hopefully sexual function. However, Ko added that while sexual function is a goal, reproduction is not, because of a concern surrounding the ethical issues of who the potential father may be.

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Amazing face transplant gives firefighter new mug


In 2001, the roof of a flaming building fell on volunteer firefighter Patrick Hardison, burning his firefighting mask onto his head. As a result, Hardison, now 41, has spent more than a decade without a face. Now, Hardison has the face of David Rodebaugh, a 26-year-old who died in a bicycling accident and donated much of his body for transplant. Surgeon Eduardo Rodriguez and a team at the New York University Langone Medical Center performed the facial transplant, "the most extensive" in history according to the hospital.

Hardison also received a new scalp, ears, ear canals, chin and cheek bones, and Rodebaugh's nose. Previously unable to close his eyes totally, he now has eyelids and also muscles for blinking.

New York University paid for the transplant, totaling $850,000 to one million dollars.

"Biography of a Face" (New York Magazine via CNN) Read the rest

Scientists: Music makes surgery patients feel better

For more than a century, physicians have used music to make patients feel better before, during, and after surgery. A new scientific meta-study looks at the evidence and confirms that yes, listening to music has measurable pain-killing properties and reduces anxiety around surgery. Read the rest

Video of man singing opera while undergoing brain surgery


Professional singer Ambroz Bajec-Lapajne sang opera during neurosurgery for a brain tumor, at his physicians' request so they could monitor his singing ability and "avoid deficits after the procedure," he writes. Read the rest

Disabled chicken will receive a 3D-printed prosthetic leg

In America, chicken has better health care than you.

WATCH: Emergency moth surgery

YouTuber Eric Nordrum found a beautiful cecropia moth being attacked by a robin, then used online instructions to repair the moth's damaged wing before releasing it. Read the rest

First penis transplant recipient's girlfriend is pregnant


In December, Stellenbosch University Dr. Andre van der Merwe performed a penis transplant on a man whose own was amputated after a (majorly) botched circumcision led to gangrene. Van der Merwe says that his patient just informed him his girlfriend is four months pregnant. Read the rest

World's first penis transplant patient is going to be a dad


The South African man who successfully received a donor penis last year after losing his own from a botched circumcision three years is expecting a baby with his 21-year-old girlfriend.

From an earlier article about the patient:

Primitive conditions in the South African bush frequently lead to infection and other complications during routine, common procedures like a circumcision. The unnamed patient lost his own penis after it became gangrenous, Van der Merwe said. Some 250 men a year have their penises amputated in South Africa each year.

"This is a very serious situation. For a young man of 18 or 19 years, the loss of his penis can be deeply traumatic. He doesn't necessarily have the psychological capability to process this,” Van der Merwe said. “There are even reports of suicide among these young men.”

Image: "It works!" Shutterstock Read the rest

A surgeon looks at Rodin's hands

For many years, Stanford University surgeon James Chang has been fascinated by Rodin's hands, sculptures made by the French artist in the 19th century. Chang uses Rodin's hands in what sounds to be a marvelous undergraduate seminar titled "Surgical Anatomy of the Hand: From Rodin to Reconstruction" in which he combines 3D scans of the sculptures, a process seen above, with medical imaging of human bones, nerves, and blood vessels.

Now, Chang has collaborated on an exhibition at Satnford that lies at the intersection of science and art. “Inside Rodin’s Hands: Art, Technology, and Surgery” opens next week at Sanford's Cantor Arts Center. Read the rest

Man's severed hand attached to his ankle

Changsha, China resident Xio Wei's hand was severed in an accident so physicians attached it to his ankle. That kept the hand alive for a month until it was reattached to his arm. Read the rest

A smart knife for surgeons

Researchers at Imperial College London have invented an electric surgical knife that comes equipped with a built-in mass spectrometer. Electric knives cauterize wounds as they cut, which produces smoke. The iKnife will be able to analyze the chemistry of that smoke to determine, for instance, whether the tissue that was just cut was cancerous or not — allowing doctors to make decisions in the OR that would, today, require them to take samples, send those samples to a lab, and maybe schedule a second surgery. Read the rest

Scientific retraction leads millions of testicles to retract into ribcages

From Retraction Watch: The Indian Journal of Surgery has retracted a 2011 paper entitled "Penile Strangulation by Metallic Rings". The reason: The authors apparently self-plagiarized the report from an earlier 2005 paper. Please insert your own jokes here. Read the rest

When a patient says "no thanks" to surgery

The Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine has a really interesting essay they've published in full online. It's written by Anna Petroni, a 77-year-old California woman who recently decided against undergoing surgery on her ankles and knees to correct recurrent foot abscesses and arthritis. It's a short, simple piece — just Petroni recounting the story about why she made the decision she made — but serves as a jumping-off point, I think, for several different important discussions about the way we do medicine and the way we make medical decisions.

A couple of things particularly stood out to me. First is the relationships we have with doctors, especially specialists whom we see once or twice and who don't know us very well. Petroni's story suggests that bedside manner is about more than just making somebody feel nice — it can also affect their overall health if the doctor makes decisions related only to their specialty without taking into account the patient's whole story. The second thing I think is really important here is the idea of there often not really being one right answer when it comes to medical decisions. Doctors can say, "we can do this" or "we can fix that", but there's a responsibility on the patient (one we're not usually prepared for or coached through) to decide whether the trade-offs of intervention outweigh the side-effects. And those decisions can vary widely from patient to patient.

I guess I was so shocked when the orthopedist told me I needed to have 4 surgical procedures, I didn't even think about the fact that he did not ask about my cardiac history.

Read the rest

Mustache transplants on the rise

Turkish plastic surgeon Selahattin Tulunay is performing 50-60 mustache implants every month, helping Middle Eastern men achieve thick, full mustaches. The procedure costs about $7,000.

Pierre Bouhanna is a Paris-based surgeon who, for the past five years, has been performing increasing numbers of mustache implants. He says the majority of his patients come from the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Lebanon and Turkey, with men traveling to France to have the surgery performed.

"My impression is more and more they want to establish their male aspect," he said. "They want a strong mustache."

Mustache Transplants on the Rise in the Middle East [KTLA] (via JWZ)

(Image: James and Matthew, with fake moustaches, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from jonevans's photostream) Read the rest

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