The surgeon himself removed the appendix

In the history of medicine, it is not uncommon for surgeons to perform their own operations, for example, in 1919, Dr. Evan O'Neill Kane himself amputated his own finger infected with an infection, he himself performed an operation to remove his appendix in 1921, and in 1931 he cut out a hernia. ... But these operations were of a research nature and took place in the hospital and under the supervision of specialists. However, the most interesting are the cases when the surgeon enters into such a risky venture in the conditions when there is either himself or no one else.

So the young Soviet doctor Leonid Rogozov in 1961, while on an expedition to the North Pole, diagnosed himself with appendicitis. And all would not be anything, but except for Leonid there was no one in the expedition who could carry out the operation. And then he decides to take a desperate step to carry out the operation on his own under local anesthesia.

The doctor trained three assistants who had nothing to do with medicine - meteorologist Alexander Artemyev, who supplied the instruments, mechanical engineer Zinovy ​​Teplinsky, who held a small mirror near his stomach and directed the light from the lamp. The station chief Vladislav Gerbovich was on duty in case one of the assistants became ill.

Abundantly pouring novocaine into the intestines, he independently removed the appendix, the compartment, not forgetting to apply lethal doses of antibiotics, sewed up the incision and turned off. According to Rogozov's recollections, this is how things stood:

"I worked without gloves. The mirror helps, but at the same time confuses - in the end it shows things reflected. I had to work mostly by touch. There was heavy bleeding, but I did not allow myself to rush - I had to do everything for sure. cavity, I touched the cecum and had to sew it up. Suddenly my head flashed: "I hurt myself in several more places and did not notice it ..." I become weaker and weaker, my head is spinning. Every four to five minutes I stop to rest for 20-25 seconds. Finally, here it is, the damned appendix! With horror I saw a dark spot on it: it meant that another day of delay - and I would not have been saved ... "

The operation lasted an hour and a half and by the standards of the prevailing conditions was successful, the doctor removed the stitches for himself as it should be after seven days. At the time of the operation, Rogozov was only 27 years old. After the message about the past operation was transmitted to the mainland, Leonid Rogozov stood on the same level with Gagarin, who conquered space in the same year.

Upon returning to his homeland, the guy successfully defended his dissertation and took up scientific and teaching work at the faculty of general surgery of the First Leningrad Medical Institute named after V.I. acad. I.P. Pavlova. Since 1979, he worked in hospitals and medical units of the city, and since 1986 he headed the department of surgery of lymphoabdominal tuberculosis at the Research Institute of Physiopulmonology. He never returned to Antarctica and died at the age of 67 in St. Petersburg on September 21, 2000.

The St. Petersburg Museum of the Arctic and Antarctic has an exposition presenting the surgical instruments with which Leonid Rogozov performed this operation.

Rogozov's feat was entered in the USSR Book of Records “Divo-90” and in the Book of Records of Russia, CIS and Baltic countries.

The song of Vladimir Vysotsky "While you are here in the tub with tiles" is dedicated to Leonid Rogozov.