Not For The Faint Of Heart

By M@ Last edited 136 months ago
Not For The Faint Of Heart

London's got its share of surgical history, but our newest scientific exhibition space has strapped the operating theatre concept to a gurney and wheeled it into the 21st century.

Last night at the Wellcome Collection a full house watched Dr Frank Wells perform open-heart surgery on a 68-year-old man. It was all done via a remote link to Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, so although the audience wasn't in the same room as the patient a few probe-mounted cameras ensured they still got well acquainted with his innards.

The Telegraph reports Dr Wells was deftly taking questions "as if he were in the pub rather than wrist-deep in a man's chest," but the show of blood and bone could be rather more traumatic for those whose day jobs don't involve many scalpels or rib spreaders.The article warns, "for many the only way to experience an exhilarating evening was through the fingers."

The live surgery at the Wellcome Collection was part of their month-long focus on matters of the heart, but hopefully they'll bring the idea back for more evenings of grisly edutainment. Perhaps in conjunction with a helpful 'fainting couches through the ages' exhibition? Just a thought.

Image from titanium-white's Flickr photostream.

By Jonathan Black

Last Updated 06 July 2007