Dr. Henry Marsh has performed 400 "awake craniotomies" -- a surgical procedure he helped pioneer -- in which a specific kind of brain tumor that looks just like the brain itself is identified through electric stimulation and removed. Without surgery, 50 percent of patients die within 5 years; 80 percent within 10 years, and the operation can prolong their lives by 10 to 20 years or more. He was profiled in a 2007 documentary: The English Surgeon as well as this article by Karl Ove Knausgaard: The Terrible Beauty of Brain Surgery. Images in some links in this post may be disturbing to some viewers.
An avalanche of unnecessary medical care is harming patients physically and financially. What can we do about it? By Atul Gawande, previously on Metafilter.
The world's first successful penis transplant has been performed in South Africa.
Violet Pietrok was born with a Tessier Cleft, a skull defect. Surgeons at Boston Children's Hospital used 3-D prints of her skull to practice before cutting into Violet's own skull to repair the damage.
2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War 1: a pivotal time for Europe and a key transition point for medical science. The Lancet marks this centenary with a three part series ‘Legacy of the war 1914-1918’. The three papers examine the impact of World War 1 on infectious disease, military psychiatry, and amputation related pain.
Black laboratory technician Vivien Thomas was paid a janitor's wage, never went to college or medical school, and was one of the pioneers of open heart surgery.
Sorry You Were Tricked Into a C-Section What disapproving friends don’t understand about cesarean births
Post-operative Check: "It's okay that you don't remember me. My name is Shara, and I'm part of the surgical team. I'm checking to see how you're doing after your surgery. Do you know where you are right now?" [more inside]
Neither dead or alive, knife-wound or gunshot victims will be cooled down and placed in suspended animation later this month, as a groundbreaking emergency technique is tested out for the first time.
The Course of Their Lives. While much in medicine has changed over the last century, the defining course of a first year medical student's education is still 'Gross Anatomy.' This is their hands-on tour of a donated cadaver -- an actual human body -- and is an experience which cannot be replicated by computer models. When Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Mark Johnson came up with the idea of following a med school gross anatomy class for a feature story, his editor challenged him to make it different. So he chose to intertwine the students' stories with that of Geraldine 'Nana' Fotsch, a living future donor, as sort of a stand-in for the cadaver. (Via. This four-part series contains descriptions of a human dissection. Some may find it disturbing.) [more inside]
Surgeries on Friday Are More Frequently Fatal. New research shows that "operations performed on Fridays were associated with a higher 30-day mortality rate than those performed on Mondays through Wednesdays."
"The first time I went into the grocery store, nobody looked at me. And I noticed [that] nobody looked at me. And that, well that's sort of really nice." In 2007, Carmen Tarleton was assaulted by her ex-husband, resulting in chemical burns over 80% of her body. She recovered after dozens of surgeries, but her face was severely disfigured. In February 2013, Cheryl Denelli-Righter suffered a stroke that left her brain-dead. Her daughter Marinda was approached to see if she was willing to donate her mother's face. This past Valentine's day, Carmen received her face transplant, the 29th in the world. This is their story. (note: article contains photos and video of Carmen both before and after the transplant.) [more inside]
Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us. Summary: Inside the Cover Story. Related video: The Exorbitant Prices of Health Care [more inside]
“So when I was pregnant and about to give birth, I was expecting kindness, understanding, love. But, by god, was I wrong. They were torturers. They didn’t care. I was a thing. An experiment.” [more inside]
Obstetricians and gynecologists are meeting the increased demand for cosmetic vaginal surgery (NSFW)
Bartolo Colon, now of the New York Yankees, underwent a controversial stem-cell treatment in the Dominican Republic to regain his old form.
The FDA has yet to approve stem cell therapies for general use in medicine, but that hasn’t stopped doctors in Colorado from providing them anyway. [more inside]
"The Kindest Cut" A Colorado surgeon is helping to restore sensation, biological structure and self-esteem to victims of female genital mutilation. She's "Trinidad's Transgender Rock Star"
Bowers performs the surgery free of charge, and the hospital caps its fees at $1,700. "...you cannot charge money to reverse a crime against humanity," she says. "Sexuality is a right."[more inside]
Claudia Castillo's new bronchus is the result of stem-cell research. The first hollow tube body part is transplanted with no rejection issues. A lab in Italy stripped the donor trachea of living tissue leaving a collagen matrix. Claudia's stem cells were grown in a Bristol lab, (all 6 million of them) to flesh it out, so to speak. Epithelial cells from her nose & lungs formed the lining. But...... [more inside]
Lancet reports say partial face transplants are a reality. Face transplant before and after pictures here.
New surgical robots are not only capable of working more precisely than human hands, but they have no metal or electrical parts, so will work under MRI machines on tumors that would otherwise be invisible. The NeuroArm will set you back $27 million, but may confer more karma than that trip to space.
Sgt. Wells's New Skull. In the epidemic of brain injuries coming out of the war, Army neurosurgeons had never seen someone survive such a devastating wound. But Brian Wells jokes that he just left part of his head in Iraq. Someday, he says, he'll have to go back and get it.
Inside Surgery, Dr. Lisa Marcucci's surgical blog, will give you a lovely preview of exactly what they'll be doing to your guts, from gallbladder surgery to appendectomy, artery plaque removal, hemorrhoid removal, and more. Supplement the text with this extensive collection of surgical videos (NSFW), and you'll be ready to operate -- or, at least, to understand what'll go on during your operation.
OR-Live is a resource for live and on-demand medical webcasts. Upcoming today at 21:00 UTC, surgeons at St. Joseph's Hospital host a panel discussion on procedures for treating brain aneurysms, such as brain coiling and clipping. And if you just can't wait, there are plenty of other surgical videos on the web.
Living with half a brain - hemispherectomy, probably the most radical procedure in neurosurgery
Project Facade: (Warning Graphic Images) An artistic response to the Gillies Archive. The Gillies archive is a collection of documents on plastic surgery conducted on British soldiers in WWI. The web site has a list of facial reconstruction case studies. Sir Harold Delf Gillies pioneered the pedicle tube technique for facial reconstrucion.
RIP Hamilton Naki, the black surgeon working unrecognised behind the scenes at Christiaan Barnard's pioneering South African heart transplant.
Surgical Eyes - source of info about complications and their treatment from Lasik and other vision correction surgeries.
Surgery without anesthesia is something most of us are glad is now a relic of the past, but yoga teacher Yonah Offner decided it was a great opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of practicing Pranayama.
Medical fotolog. [warning -- graphic surgical photos]
All your face are belong to us. 16-yr-old Irish girl looks set to receive the world's first face transplant, it has been reported. Right now it's a medical procedure, but do you think we ever see a day where people grow face replacements for cosmetic purposes?
Face Transplants : "...the harvesting or ''degloving'' of a face would take approximately two hours, depending on the depth of the excision. It is possible to remove not just skin and subcutaneous fat and muscle but....part of the donor's bone and cartilage as well. Still, the deeper the cut, the more complex becomes the reattachment."
Doctor, I've got a clamp... I mean, a cramp... Surgical teams accidentally leave clamps, sponges and other tools inside about 1,500 patients nationwide each year, according to the biggest study of the problem yet. (yummy Xray here).
And, remember....have your Game Show Host spayed or neutered. Why are all the memories of my youth continuing to remind me that I'm getting old? Arg. Guess it's time for me to get an exam, too.
Ow my head hurts Doctors operate on the wrong part of a mans brain because the CT scan is placed backwards on the viewing screen. Doh!