Zero Gravity Surgery... Just 'Cause We Can
from the totally-eXtreme-surgery dept
Zero gravity flights have been growing in popularity over the last few years, as they've become available to the public. It involves a modified plane that parabolic arcs, basically creating a giant roller coaster, that gives the folks in the plane the feeling of zero-gravity for a short period of time (it can also induce feelings of nausea, which is why the original version for astronauts-in-training was referred to as the "vomit comet"). However, some surgeons in France are about to take one such flight to perform a zero-gravity surgery. Why? Well, that's not explained. It might have something to do with understanding how to do surgery in space. Or seeing if you can do different types of procedures with zero-gravity. But, really, we have no idea. And, neither does anyone else, apparently. According to the article: "It was unclear how exactly the surgery could be useful in space, or whether there would be any broader medical use for the procedure." The head surgeon involved makes some vague statements about how an astronaut on a space station might need an emergency surgery which couldn't be done, but others admit there don't seem to be very much practical applications outside of that to be learned. There's some talk about robot surgeons, but again, it's totally unclear. To be honest, it sounds like this is just something that some surgeons thought would be kind of fun, and so they went forward with it. The specific surgery is to remove a tumor from the patient's arm, and the surgeons say they chose an avid bungee jumper so that he might better be able to handle the rapid changes in direction. Maybe next time they'll try to do the surgery while bungee jumping.