Leonid Ivanovich Rogozov (1934 – 2000) was a Soviet general practitioner who took part in the sixth Soviet Antarctic Expedition in 1960–1961.

He was the only doctor stationed at the Novolazarevskaya Station and, while there, developed appendicitis, which meant he had to perform an appendectomy on himself, a famous case of self-surgery.

The operation took 2 hours. He positioned himself so that he could see his own body using a mirror when doing the surgery - he made a 12 cm cut through which he found the appendix. After 5 days the doctor felt good, and after 7 days he removed the wires which had been used to sew up the body.

Dr Rogo­zov wrote in his diary:

I did not sleep at all last night.  It hurts like the devil!  A snow­storm whip­ping through my soul, wail­ing like a hun­dred jack­als.  Still no obvi­ous symp­toms that per­fo­ra­tion is immi­nent, but an oppres­sive feel­ing of fore­bod­ing hangs over me… This is it… I have to think through the only pos­si­ble way out:  to oper­ate on myself… It’s almost impos­si­ble… but I can’t just fold my arms and give up.

Dr Rogo­zov
Half way through the oper­a­tion Dr Rogo­zov passed out, but was able to continue.


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