It’s not a how-to, people!
July 18, 2010 10:31 PM   Subscribe

DIY medicine on YouTube: A G&M article with plenty of links that I could click on.

Doug Southern would have preferred to see a doctor, but bad timing meant he was without health insurance. He was laid off from his job a short while before a three-year-old baseball-sized cyst on his back became infected.

When his brother-in-law, a family practitioner, and his sister came to visit him in Tuscaloosa, Ala., he decided to put down a towel and pillow on his kitchen floor and turn it into a makeshift operating room so his cyst could be taken out “Alabama style.”

The graphic, seven-minute YouTube video is punctuated with squeals of delight and revulsion from Mr. Southern’s sister (the camerawoman) and commentary from the doctor (“Now you see how that’s a little bit cheesy there? That’s some of the cyst stuff comin’ out.”).

“I would never recommend anyone doing this at home,” Mr. Southern, 41, says. “I obviously did it, but the situation I was in kind of allowed me the ability to have that done and it be controlled and somewhat safe.”

His video was posted mostly for entertainment (“You don’t want to see it, but once you see it happening, you can’t take your eyes off it,” he says) but it was uploaded to the “Education” category of YouTube.
posted by KokuRyu (33 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Sorry, that should have been:

A G&M article with plenty of links that I could not click on.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:33 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

The internet is not a doctor.
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:36 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

I wonder if Doug Southern supports health care reform.
posted by jamaro at 10:39 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

The big plate of chicken bones and half-eaten macaroni and cheese in this one offers a nice alternative to that sterile atmosphere that's such a bring-down in real operating rooms.
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:55 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

posted by paisley henosis at 10:56 PM on July 18, 2010

Self-surgery is the act of performing a surgical procedure on oneself.

This Wikipedia entry seems reasonable and sensible until I get to that next line:
By far the most common type of self-surgery is orchiectomy, removal of one or both testicles.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:05 PM on July 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

I just vomited watching the cyst removal. Luckily I recorded it and will be putting it on youtube. I'll call it "Home Lunch Removal"
posted by empath at 11:14 PM on July 18, 2010 [3 favorites]

This Wikipedia entry seems reasonable and sensible until I get to that next line:
By far the most common type of self-surgery is orchiectomy, removal of one or both testicles.

Yeah, it hit a little too close to home for me, too.
posted by codswallop at 11:46 PM on July 18, 2010

Just because there's a link doesn't mean you have to click it. I already know more than I wanted to know just by reading.

But I'm wondering: don't the medical governing bodies discourage stuff like this? Isn't the "family practitioner" brother-in-law risking some sort of professional trouble when he chooses to work on a kitchen floor rather than refer the patient to an approved clinic or emergency room?
posted by pracowity at 11:55 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

Honestly, I'm not entirely sold on the extent to which general self-surgery has really taken flight on YouTube, since the (admittedly voluminous) material there all seems to come down the one genre: the "squeezing little bits of shit out of you" category, which is mostly comprised of zits, cysts, and the occasional botfly maggot. Self-gall-bladder-removal or lung repair it is not.

I get the sense that the real story here is that many of us share a fascination with the idea of excrescence. Why, I leave to the armchair freudians. This might, however, be a more productive line of questioning. (And one which I'm pretty sure could not be gotten into the newspaper. But you never know.)
posted by bicyclefish at 11:57 PM on July 18, 2010

If I could do self-surgery without looking, maybe. But watching me cutting into me just doesn't seem likely.
posted by Cranberry at 12:14 AM on July 19, 2010

My tonsils and appendix have become parts of me. Oh, wait...
posted by Cranberry at 12:15 AM on July 19, 2010

I knew the libertarians were on to something. The invisible hand can squeeze pus just like the others...
posted by pompomtom at 12:20 AM on July 19, 2010 [3 favorites]

While the situation that happened with the girl whose baby died is sad, childbirth is not self-surgery and can be done at home, though I personally would advocate for a licensed midwife at the least.
posted by IndigoRain at 12:26 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

DIY Lasik?
posted by iamck at 12:56 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Finally, now we have somewhere to send all those AskMe posters...
posted by Jacqueline at 1:18 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

At least they aren't doing undersea appendectomies.
posted by TedW at 2:53 AM on July 19, 2010

not only can I not click on that link, I also I can't have breakfast...

you're an evil person KokoRyu!
posted by HuronBob at 2:59 AM on July 19, 2010

Someone from a clinic's billing department should post their charge for each YT'd procedure.

Does the cyst removal include excise tax?
posted by hal9k at 4:05 AM on July 19, 2010

Whenever I need surgery done on the cheap, I just head down to Moe's.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:31 AM on July 19, 2010

I just came very close to vomiting from reading the article, no link-clicking at all.

You know that feeling when you're with new people or at a party or something, and you realise they really don't have the boundaries you have and are about to go from adventure into nothing's forbidden, dog-fucking, Russian Roulette territory? My brain just linked home surgery videos in with that and I think I'm about as profoundly terrified as I can be.
posted by carbide at 5:13 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

iamck, you completely had me going there for a few minutes.

But I decided to go with a second opinion.
posted by marsha56 at 5:25 AM on July 19, 2010

I could not read very far into the article. I did not click one link. I did not read any of the comments here. It's too fucking early for this kind of shit.
posted by Splunge at 5:43 AM on July 19, 2010

Oh man this is great!
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:46 AM on July 19, 2010

posted by zarq at 6:07 AM on July 19, 2010

Somewhere, a marketing manager for a large insurer is putting together a Powerpoint proposal for his new "results-oriented, patient-driven" initiative for controlling the escalating cost of healthcare...
posted by Thorzdad at 6:17 AM on July 19, 2010

Recently, on ask.mefi!
posted by Greg Nog at 9:38 AM on July 19, 2010

Oddly, I had already seen this video. My girlfriend almost fainted when we watched it, but my roommate (a nurse) and I (a former EMT) had to see it three times through, so completely fascinated were we. It's gross, for sure, but at the same time there's something deeply satisfying about it; my roommate and I later admitted that, while watching the video, we each experienced a twinge of jealousy for Mr. Southern, as we both wanted to know what it must feel like to pop what is, in effect, the world's gnarliest zit.
posted by saladin at 10:55 AM on July 19, 2010

Can't wait to watch these.

Self-surgeried myself once. Healed up fine. Had the same symptom taken care of (albeit in an impossible-to reach place, and much more serious) at a hospital a dozen years later and it cost me $16K+. Yay America!
posted by jtron at 11:43 AM on July 19, 2010

Cysts, stitches, these things are kid stuff. This is the real deal.
posted by crunch42 at 12:35 PM on July 19, 2010

Probably NSFW, and kind of not for the squeamish, btw.
posted by crunch42 at 12:36 PM on July 19, 2010

Vomitworthy. :-)
posted by ~Sushma~ at 1:07 PM on July 19, 2010

ME fixed brain tumor just fine with none problems.
posted by Locobot at 12:10 PM on July 20, 2010

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