Gastrointestinal surgeon Perry Rush discovered a wildly-inaccurate post operative note in a patient chart last month that has become inspiration for a radical new approach to gastric bypass surgery.
“The procedure described in the note was totally wrong,” said Rush. “Not only was it not the surgery I had just performed, but the operation described had never been performed on any patient, for any indication, ever.” Since its discovery, the entirely-fictitious operative note has inspired a novel approach to gastric bypass.
“The strength of this approach lies in its originality,” stated Rush, who will be the first to attempt the procedure next week. “It doesn’t obey conventional knowledge of human physiology nor surgical science. Without those constraints, a whole new approach is possible.”
A one page, hand-drawn illustration titled “What We Did” was inserted into the operative note. The drawing depicted key steps in the procedure and also illustrated expected post-operative anatomy. This surprisingly detailed yet totally inaccurate rendition is what stayed with Rush long after he first glimpsed the note in the patient chart.
“Initially, when I saw the drawing, I thought, ‘This is just insane! Absolutely nothing is where it should be!’ but with time, I realized that the idea was actually crazy enough that it just might work.”
One potential obstacle is the complexity of the operation described. “I admit, this procedure does involve a number of ‘dramatic’ rearrangements of the abdominal anatomy that may be disturbing, or too ‘Frankenstein-y’ for some individuals,” Rush said. “But all innovation seems bizarre at first.”
The originality and complexity of this new approach may help explain why the potentially groundbreaking procedure has never before been attempted.
Rush hopes to revolutionize the surgical approach to gastric bypass by attempting the procedure described in the operative note for the first time next week.