Engineer designs tools to perform DIY operation on himself


Originally published at:


:astonished: This is not a good precedent…


At least he didn’t have to pay $800 a month to have the surgeons refuse to operate on him, as we do here in the USA.


Bathroom surgery is a rite of passage and all it takes is an exacto-knife, nail clippers and some hydrogen peroxide. Ingrown nails, plantars warts, you name it. I have a lipoma that I’d like to remove but I’ll leave that one to the pros.


I dunno. We say that now, but it could have potential future applications.


While I applaud his ambition… all I can think is “Great, more fodder for the right to use as examples of the horrors public health care leads to”


There have been doctors that have performed surgery on themselves and lived to tell the tale. The obvious is that no one should do so, but at least what was working for this guy was that he was not looking to remove or mess with any organs, just remove the stitches. I would be more worried about infection than anything else.


Reminds me of a few stories I read about self-trepanning people… Yuck

Edit: Like this one. You know… If you’re into that kind of stuff…


I’m not a surgeon so don’t try this at at home.

Well, yes you are, you have performed surgery. It still amazes me how peculiar the thought processes of many people are. A person who has been trained but with no experience can fulfil an abstract social role of being referred to as s surgeon. Yet people who have actually done it are reluctant to say this because the role is seen as having more primacy than the actual action.

This is also why “IANAL” bothers me so much. It’s not about some title or professed identity, it’s about the process - what you actually know and do. Something like “IDNAKTL” (I do not actually know the laws) seems far more appropriate.


Removing a splinter is technically surgery. We all have preformed surgery of one form another. But only some of us do it with an regularity and are good at it. This is the maximally useful definition of surgeon.


Sure, I agree. But I think this is inconsistent with how people usually describe activities. A person can easily cook, sculpt, or plumb and yet some will do it more or less well than others. People learn by applying themselves and doing, not by being recognized as occupying a role by some hierarchy. That makes it more difficult for the average person to develop competency in crucial skills, which I suspect is precisely why they do it.


I remember hearing about someone performing an appendectomy on themselves in Antarctica because they didn’t think they could get outside help in time.

I’ve found a BMJ article about it (sadly, behind a paywall).


suture self


I clicked the link.
Oh god. Why did I click the link? What’s wrong with me?
The horror.


Why in a first world country with socialized medicine was he living with this for 15 years? YEARS?


Government cuts and interference? 15 years ago would have been in the middle of Blair’s obsession with ranking hospitals in tables, which lead to hospitals prioritising surgeries for non-life threatening conditions that were quick and easy to treat.


I have performed a few acts of bathroom self-surgery, once even on a benign growth. I have yet to suture a wound, but I would deal with plantar’s warts or HPV sores on my own (if necessary) and I could get my hands on one of those liquid nitrogen canisters.
However, I would never breach my abdominal cavity or cranial cavity on purpose. That’s just too risky.

Still alive and relatively healthy!



“IANAL” exists because there are laws against providing legal advice/misrepresenting yourself as having a license to practice law. Now I understand you are opposed to such systems in general, but they exist and it may be possible, however unlikely, to find yourself in a lot of trouble if you’re charged with breaking those laws. I have a master’s degree in an engineering field, but I am not a licensed Professional Engineer and it would be illegal to represent myself otherwise.

ETA: The goal is not to prevent people from developing skill competency, so much as a recognition that the untrained are generally unable to tell who is genuinely skilled in a field with which they are unfamiliar; official qualifications set a floor and standards on that regarding who can sell those services. It is easy to go overboard with such things, of course.


Conversely I had a neighbor who was a surgeon. When his dog ripped open its favorite stuffed toy, he stitched it up like sutures. Ugliest sewing job I’ve seen, but it worked.