Fascinating True Stories From the Flip Side of History

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Doctor Removes His Own Appendix

On July 30, 1949, Dr. George C. Balderston decided to operate on himself to see the true effects of local anesthesia and post-operative results. His friend, Dr. Richard Gladman, injected the local anesthetic and did the sponging, while the good doctor removed his own appendix. A nurse, Mrs. Gladys Wood, became ill during the procedure and had to leave the room.

The operation was a success and by the next day, he was back in business. He performed three tonsillectomies, treated a boy with a back injury, and was awoken at 2:00 AM to make a house call.

Dr. George C. Balderston performing surgery on himself.
Dr. George C. Balderston operating on himself. Image originally appeared on page 1 of the August 1, 1949 publication of the Bristol Herald Courier.
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