This is the weird story of Leonid Rogozov, the man who removed his own appendix and lived to tell the tale!
During an expedition to the Antarctic, Russian surgeon Leonid Rogozov started to feel tired and weak. Being a surgeon, he immediately realised that he was suffering from acute appendicitis and needed an operation. The only problem was that he was the only doctor on the team.
Since the journey from Russia to the Antarctic would have taken 36 days by sea, Rogozov realised that he would have to do the operation himself. His condition was getting worse day by day and removing his appendix was the only option he had if he wanted to stay alive. (the article continues after the ad)
Rogozov worked out a detailed plan for how the operation would unfold and assigned his colleagues specific roles and tasks. He nominated two main assistants to hand him instruments, position the lamp, and hold a mirror – he planned to use the reflection to see what he was doing.
And so he started the operation. After the initial sections, he managed to work himself into the appendix. “Finally here it is, the cursed appendage! With horror I notice the dark stain at its base. That means just a day longer and it would have burst… My heart seized up and noticeably slowed, my hands felt like rubber. Well, I thought, it’s going to end badly and all that was left was removing the appendix.” says Rogozov in his autobiography.
But he didn’t fail. After nearly two hours he had completed the operation, down to the final stitch. Then, before allowing himself to rest, he instructed his assistants how to wash the surgical instruments and only when the room was clean and tidy did Rogozov take some antibiotics and sleeping tablets.
Rogozov returned to his normal duties just two weeks later.
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Photo: Rare Historical Photos