A physician in Guangzhou Province, China, gave himself a gastroscopy and a colonoscopy, then removed polyps and hemorrhoids from his own rectum to show patients that getting a gastrointestinal endoscopy is “no big deal.”
Zhang Weimin, Director of the Department of Spleen and Stomach Diseases at the Guangzhou Southern Medical University of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine performed the procedures without anesthesia.
“I talk to patients about the necessity of gastrointestinal endoscopy every day, but still encounter many patients who despise the examination and delay treatment,” Zhang said. “I personally made a demonstration to let everyone know that is is not a big deal to do this examination.”
Zhang said that the biggest difficulty he faced on performing the procedures on himself was continuing to operate and observe while suffering symptoms such as vomiting and abdominal pain. It was totally different from performing the procedure on somebody else.
First Zhang performed a gastroscopy, sticking a tube down his esophagus. Zhang retched at the beginning of the 7-minute procedure. “After experiencing it for ourselves, and knowing what it feels like, we can empathize with and understand our patients more,” Zhang said.
Zhang then moved on to the colonoscopy. Half sitting up, Zhang gently inserted the endoscope. “It feels a bit chilly, and I can feel humming in my stomach,” Zhang said.
Zhang identified 10 small polyps in his sigmoid colon and rectum. He held the endoscope in one hand and took biopsy forceps in the other. Zhang then performed the surgical removal of the polyps one by one. Zhang then performed an internal hemorrhoid ligation surgery.
After completing the procedures, Zhang said “There are many unexpected gains and experiences.” As a patient he personally experienced the whole process of gastroscopy and colonoscopy diagnosis and treatment without anesthesia. He felt the various discomforts during bowel preparation and surgery. “In the future I will lead general practitioners to continuously improve the whole process of gastrointestinal endoscopy,” Zhang said.
Originally reported in the Fujian edition of the Strait Metropolis Daily.
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