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This British man operated on himself

A man performed self-surgery with DIY surgery tools. (Representational Image) Photograph: (WION)

WION Delhi, India Oct 31, 2016, 08.02 AM (IST) WION Edge

Some people sit and wait for miracles, while others make them happen. Graham Smith, an engineer from England, is one such individual.

The Lancashire native had been left with a suture in his abdomen after a bowel operation that he underwent 15 years ago. Unfortunately, for the longest time, he didn’t notice the stiches. In fact, it was in 2011 that he identified and then complained about the stitches protruding out of his body.

However, when he raised the issue with the hospital, he was put on a waiting list and then had two scheduled operations cancelled.

Suture is a a stitch or stitches holding together the edges of a wound or surgical incision. (Others)


The 8-inch-long (20 cm) surgical stitches made it difficult for him to walk, often leaving him in severe pain. In an interview to the BBC, Graham said, “I was reckless with the surgery but the pain made me desperate. I could see the stitches protruding out of my body.”

Finally, he decided to devise his own set of DIY surgery tools, and went ahead to operate on himself. The tools he developed were adapted from titanium instruments, given to him by a friend, who works as dentist.

Given that he was undoing a surgeon’s knot, Graham had to be extra careful. “I needed to modify them to undo some of the stitches. I couldn’t have just cut it off as it might have retracted and I would have been in real trouble. I had to undo them one by one,” he told the BBC.

“There was a bit of blood and it stung a bit, but I was confident in what I was doing,” he recalled, adding that post the surgery, he now feels like a new man.

Upon learning of Graham’s case, the hospital trust has advised patients to stick to clinical advice. That’s something that Graham also concurs with: “Anything could have gone wrong. Don’t try this at home.”

(Contributed by: Zeba Khan)

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