Colorado Doctor's Surgery

 A  Colorado doctor's surgery on himself.  Really?  Dr. George Balderson's story is one of the most amazing doctors in Colorado medical history.

Dr. Balderson grew up in the small town of Paonia, Colorado.  The town was famous for the growing of fruit and vegetables.


After the good doctor finished medical school, he opened a practice in Telluride.

In 1940, he had a severe attack of appendicitis.  Being a very imaginative man, Dr. Balderson decided to remove his own appendix with his nurse by his side.

Picture it, the doctor giving himself a local anesthetic, and beginning surgery.

Asking his nurse to pass him the instruments needed to conduct, at the time, a very serious operation.


Without going into to too gory of detail, he took the scalpel and cut through skin, muscle and tissue, probed the wound for his lower intestines, and found the inflamed appendix.

Since he couldn't look directly into the wound, he had to pull the intestines out and lay it on his stomach, tie off the appendix, cut it off, stitch the end of the intestine, and put the whole mess back inside himself.


Then he sewed himself back up, and within two days he was back seeing patients.

Ok, fact or fiction or a little of both.  Everyone at the time claims it to be true. We have all heard the saying, "Physician, heal thyself", but does that extend to self surgery?

I've had my appendix removed at a young age, was in the hospital for a week and was not back to normal for about 3 weeks after.

Of course today, this surgery is done on an outpatient basis, unless there are complications, and recovery is within a short time.

So how could this doctor perform surgery on himself?  A real puzzler.



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