Charlotte, NC – They say surgeons need to be good with their hands. It takes meticulous maneuvering, carefully planned movements, and steadiness to operate effectively. One surgeon, however, has taken the term ‘gifted hands’ to the next level – he uses them, and only them, for every procedure. No scalpels or other instruments, just his good ol’ hands.
When we caught up with Dr. Robert Clawson, the handy surgeon, he was just beginning a thoracotomy. “I don’t really know when it all started,” he said as he took the 4 fingers of his right hand and pressed so hard on the patient’s midline that the skin split wide open. “I just couldn’t find a scalpel one day, so I tried to just rip the person open with my hands. It has worked ever since!” By this point, there was already blood everywhere and we then heard a slow, strong ripping sound as he got his fingers under the rib cage and pried off the entire chest wall. “See, works like a charm!”
Dr. Clawson claims the technique works for anything. “If I need to take out some bowel, I grab it where I want to cut, and instead of cutting I just squeeze really, really hard. Like wayyyyyy hard, and it pretty much just comes apart. Then if I have to reconnect anything, I just use the knots I learned in Boy Scouts.”
Clawson’s fastest procedure is the appendectomy. He puts a little mark on McBurney’s point and then in one swift movement punches the patient extremely hard at that point. If the angle of the force is right, he can grab the appendix from there and rip it out. “Takes like 10 seconds max, start to finish,” he said as he replaced the chest wall at the end of the thoracotomy.
The administration at Clawson’s hospital says he has given them some great press with his non-conventional techniques, but his patients are starting to have multiple surgical complications. The post-operative infection rate is nearly 100% and nearly everyone develops bowel obstructions. White Coat Weekly would like to thank everyone involved in this amazing story.