True Stories

Crazy Experimental Medical Procedures That Actually Worked 

Nathan Gibson
March 24, 2017 5.8k votes 1.3k voters 79.3k views 13 items

List Rules Vote up the craziest medical procedures that you were shocked actually worked.

While human treatment of medical problems has a long and sometimes bizarre history, recent history has seen medicine advance exponentially. Nowadays, new treatment options and experimental medical procedures are developed constantly to help combat diseases or injuries that would otherwise be fatal. Researchers all across the world are carrying out studies to find the latest breakthrough that will save countless lives.

Many of these are obvious progressions on the current thinking of health experts, but some are more... farfetched. These breakthroughs often involve insane medical procedures, like new types of surgery or crazy treatments that you wouldn’t believe could work. Yet sometimes, these can actually turn out to be incredibly successful and prove to be a lifesaving measure. Although these treatments might seem outlandish, they are all examples experimental procedures that actually worked, despite all of the odds suggesting they couldn’t.

1
A Tooth Implanted Into The Eye Restores Sight
A Tooth Implanted Into T... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Crazy Experimental Medical Procedures That Actually Worked
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In what was a first-of-its kind operation, 60-year-old Sharron Thornton regained her sight when a leading cornea specialist implanted a tooth into her eye. It may sound like the stuff of nightmares, but it's actually an amazing medical advancement. The woman had been blind for nine years when the experimental procedure was carried out, with the tooth helping to treat a potentially life-threatening condition called Stevens Johnson syndrome that destroys cells.

The canine tooth was shaped and had a hole drilled into it so that a tiny lens could be placed inside. Then, the new eye structure was implanted in her shoulder for a few months so that it would bind to the lens correctly. After the structure was fully bonded, it was implanted in the center of her eye. 

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2
Cutting The Body Completely In Half
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Video: YouTube

Hemicorporectomy is a type of radical surgery that has only been performed around 600 times throughout medical history. The infrequency of the technique is directly related to its severity. See, the procedure essentially involves doctors removing the bottom half of the human body from a person.

Everything below the waist, including the legs, genitals, rectum, urinary structure, and pelvis, is completely removed. While it is often successful, it is generally only done to stop aggressive cancers that have spread to the pelvic bones and spinal cord.

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3
Special Eyedrops That Provide Night Vision
Special Eyedrops That Pr... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Crazy Experimental Medical Procedures That Actually Worked
Photo: Gordon Wrigley/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

A group of biohackers known as Science for the Masses have taken it upon themselves to investigate and implement biometric enhancements to the human body. In 2015, they successfully carried out a medical procedure that allowed the trial participant to see in the dark much more effectively using a chemical normally used in cancer treatments.

They inserted the chlorin e6 chemical directly onto Gabriel Licina’s eyes and found that he was able to make out shapes and find objects in the dark at a far better rate than other test subjects. What makes this even more crazy is the fact that none of the people involved were doctors, but rather just a registered nurse and a person who had done some research on the Internet.

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4
Removing Half A Brain To Prevent Seizures
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Video: YouTube

Jessie Hall was six years old when she was diagnosed with Rasmussen's encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain that leads to a variety of severe symptoms. The young girl would often experience seizures, lose the use of her left arm, speak in gibberish, and even lose her sight during her worst times.

After extensive testing and treatments, experts from Johns Hopkins eventually came to the conclusion that the only way to solve the problem was to perform a hemispherectomy, an insane sounding procedure that involves removing the entire right side of the brain. When done properly, the surgery leaves the patient's personality, memories, and motor skills intact. The surgery was a success and Jessie made a full recovery. 

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