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.
A Tooth Implanted Into The Eye Restores Sight
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.
Cutting The Body Completely In Half
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.
Removing Half A Brain To Prevent Seizures
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.
Man Given An Extra Heart Due To Lung Complication
San Diego resident Tyson Smith was in desperate need of a heart transplant, due to a progressive illness that caused his own heart to enlarge significantly. Unfortunately, a traditional heart transplant wasn’t viable because of his high blood pressure and the fact that his lungs were damaged in such a way that they would likely reject any new heart.
The problem was solved with a new type of surgery that involved joining the new heart onto the old one so that it wouldn’t be rejected by the body, and could also cope with the workload of pumping blood. Miraculously, the procedure was a complete success, adding an extra 10 years to his lifespan.