The fastest surgeon in the world

Dr. Robert Liston removed 20kg tumor in 4 minutes, amputated only 28 seconds, famous for the speed of surgery in the 19th century.

Back then the anesthetic was not known in medicine. The surgeries are performed on patients without anesthesia, so doctors must operate very quickly and accurately to reduce patient pain and increase survival rate.

He is famous for his surgical speed. Calculations at that time showed that doctors had surgery longer than Robert, the rate of patients died was 1/4, meaning that one out of every four patients operated, one died. Meanwhile, the average death rate of Dr. Robert Liston is 1/10.

Picture 1 of The fastest surgeon in the world
Portrait of Robert Liston (1794 - 1847), Scottish surgeon.(Photo: Vintage News).

Robert started all surgeries with his familiar slogan: "Please count my time, gentlemen!" and the observers standing in the room and started to stop. After declaring the start of the surgery, he proceeded to cut the limb, suck the blood-soaked knife with his mouth to keep his hands from getting entangled, then put the saw into the bone to cut, ending with the process of suturing. All of this process takes only two and a half minutes.

Because of his speed, Robert is known as "The Fastest Knife in the West End" . However, it was because of this speed ability that he made a serious mistake in a surgery.

That is when Robert had to amputate one leg of the patient. All procedures continue as normal until the patient begins to roll. The assistants make every effort to keep the patient. In the chaos, Robert moved so fast that he accidentally cut off his assistant's finger and slit the observer's jacket. The patient and his assistant died a few days later due to a wound infection. It is the only surgery in the world medical history to have a 300 percent mortality rate.

Picture 2 of The fastest surgeon in the world
Robert Liston performed amputation of the patient in front of an audience.(Photo: All Thats Interesting).

Robert Liston was born on October 28, 1794, in Scotland. He studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh (UK) and became a surgeon at the Royal Hospital of Edinburgh in 1818. Later, Robert became a lecturer in anatomy in Edinburgh. He was not popular with colleagues here. In their eyes, Robert was a very pretentious and quite harsh person. Robert moved to London and became very famous.

At the end of his career, in 1846, Robert performed the first surgery using anesthetic. The patient is Frederick Churchill. After anesthesia, Dr. Robert only needs 25 seconds to complete amputation. Unfortunately, Robert is no longer alive to see the full effect of the anesthetic. Just one year after the surgery for Churchill, he died in a sailing accident.

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