Yesterday, Dr Mark Reid (@medicalaxioms) posted the image below on Twitter accompanied by this message:'You are not a great surgeon until you have done your own appendectomy. In Antarctica.'
That message was too intriguing to pass up, so read up a little (i.e. I went to Wikipedia).Leonid Rogozov
was a phsyician from East Siberia who trained in Lenningrad, USSR. He interrupted his surgical training to join the sixth Soviet Antarctic Expedition. In September 1960, he traveled to the south pole with thirteen researchers as the sole doctor on the expedition.
On 29 April 1961, Rogozov woke up feeling weak and nauseated. Within hours, he developed a fever and began to feel pain in his lower right abdomen. He self-diagnosed appendicitis. His attempts to reduce the inflammation failed, and he worsened quickly. By the next evening, infection and pain began to spread, indicating that his appendix may have ruptured.
No one else at the research station had any medical training. The nearest Soviet station was 1000 kilometers away. A horrible blizzard prevented any air travel. The spreading infection warranted emergency treatment, and Rogozov opted for his only choice.He performed surgery on himself.
The researchers helped him set up and sterilize a makeshift operating area. Rogozov set out his surgical instruments. He prepared syringes of drugs that the researchers were to administer if he lost consciousness. He positioned himself in a reclining position, and he used novacain to anesthetize his abdomen. Fifteen minutes later, he made the incision.
A meteorologist used retractors to hold the incision open. A mechanical engineer held a mirror so that Rogozov could better see. Forty minutes into the procedure, he started to feel dizzy. For the rest of the operation, he worked in short spurts, taking frequent breaks. Even so, Rogozov removed his appendix, injected antibiotics into the infected cavity and sutured the incision. He finished the entire operation in just under two hours.
Within four days of his auto-operation, the infection subsided. Rogozov resumed his normal duties in the station within two weeks and heavy lifting after one month. He and the researchers remained in Antarctica until October 1962.
The Soviet Union recognized his accomplishment by awarding him the Order of the Red Banner of Labour.
Leonid Rogozov returned to Leningrad and completed his surgical training in 1966. He worked as a physician for fourteen years. He died in 2000 at age 66 from lung cancer.photograph by Vladislav RogozovRogozov's personal account in the
Soviet Antarctic Expedition Information Bulletin: http://j.mp/1k1IxAv +Wikipedia article: http://j.mp/1g7lfsc + #medicine #Antarctica #surgery #ns