On April 29, 1961, Dr. Leonid Rogozov was in Antarctica in a blizzard when his stomach began to hurt. Badly. The only physician on the Soviet Antarctic Expedition, Rogozov realized his appendix needed to come out before it burst and killed him. Rogozov's only choice was to take the matter into his hands. He roped in a meteorologist and a driver to assist. From MDLinx:
Dr. Rogozov assumed a semi-reclined position designed to allow him to perform the operation with minimal use of a mirror…
"It was frequently necessary to raise my head in order to see better, and sometimes I had to work entirely by feel," Dr. Rogozov wrote. "General weakness became severe after 30 to 40 minutes, and vertigo developed, so that short pauses for rest were necessary."
Toward the end of the operation, Dr. Rogozov nearly lost consciousness and he feared he would not survive….
After resection of the severely diseased vermiform appendix (including a 2 × 2 cm perforation at the base), antibiotics were introduced into the peritoneal cavity, and he closed the wound…
Understandably, he described his postoperative condition as "moderately poor," although signs of peritonitis resolved during the next 4 days. At 5 days post-surgery, his fever diminished, and the sutures were removed by day 7. After 2 weeks, he was back to work.