An engineer from Lancashire, England made headlines after performing a surgery on himself when he was put on the waiting list.
Around 15 years ago, Graham Smith underwent a bowel surgery and the surgeons left eight-millimeter-long stitches protruding through his abdominal skin. Smith raised this issue in 2011 and informed the authorities at the Aintree Hospital, in Liverpool where the surgery was initially performed. The hospital put Smith on a waiting list and the operation was cancelled twice.
Instead of waiting and risking death by septicaemia, the engineer took the matter in his hands and decided to self-operate. Smith borrowed titanium instruments from his dentist friend and modified them for the surgical procedure:
“I tried to do it through the normal channels… but I had septicaemia. I didn’t make the decision lightly – I was desperate, but I had to take control of it and I was not prepared to sit and die on a waiting list.”
The nylon stitches protruding from his stomach had formed really tight knots and couldn’t be cut off straight away:
“I couldn’t just cut it off as it might have retracted and I would have been in real trouble so I had to undo these knots one by one and I had to make a few tools to allow me to do this. There was a bit of blood and it stung a bit but I was confident in what I was doing.”
The botched procedure left him ‘hunched over and leaning to the left.’ After the successful self-surgery, he managed to fix the problem and said he felt like a new person:
“I’m a specialist engineer. I do jobs people can’t do, but I’m not a surgeon so don’t try this at home.”
The spokesman for the Royal College of Surgeons cautioned the public against the DIY surgical procedures as it could be disastrous:
“If you do try to perform self-surgery without surgical training, there is a high risk that the procedure could go wrong, or damage another part of the body. There is also a possibility of infection.”
Meanwhile, the Aintree Hospital said that Smith had been scheduled for a consultation on last Monday and that the hospital will follow up with his care.