March 12, 2009

Organs the surgeon removed from a 7-year-old girl's body: stomach, pancreas, spleen, liver and large and small intestines.

Surgeon Tomoaki Kato redefines "inoperable."
"Thank you for giving me back Heather... Everyone said, 'She'll end up dying on the table.' He was our last hope..."....

The surgery resembled a multiple-organ transplant, Kato said, except that the young patient served as her own donor and did not need anti-rejection drugs. Her organs were removed and chilled in a preservative at 4 degrees above zero. Those that the cancer hadn't destroyed were replaced in her body.

Kato's biggest fear was that her liver might fail. He asked her father, a volunteer firefighter, to serve as a live donor, if need be. Fortunately, the organ survived, and the call never came.
(Via Jac.)

38 comments:

Pogo said...

Cool. Not covered under ObamaCare, to be sure, but way cool.

fcai said...

The removal will be covered. Reinstallation is extra. Might cost an arm and a leg.

traditionalguy said...

The next time the Obamacrats tell us that there is no health care until they Socialize medicine and begin rationing the cost/benefits of life, someone please bring this miracle up.

ricpic said...

This is an incredible story. She's a beautiful little girl. Rendered an instant diabetic by the operation due to the removal of the pancreas. But they say that problem can be handled.

Leland said...

Prrof that US healthcare is sub-standard and declining.

LarsPorsena said...

23 hour operation...that's a heroic surgeon.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Hurrah for medical science and great surgeons!

John Althouse Cohen said...

The next time the Obamacrats tell us that there is no health care until they Socialize medicine and begin rationing the cost/benefits of life, someone please bring this miracle up.

Yeah, enough rational thinking -- let's bring everyone to tears instead!

This is a beautiful story, which is why I blogged it. Everyone can be deeply grateful for what this doctor did, regardless of your views on health-care policy. I wish people would stop and think before assuming that every emotionally moving story supports the opinion they had in the first place.

Darcy said...

Brilliance with the help of a miracle, indeed. Great story,

And Pogo is right about ObamaCare.

Issob Morocco said...

Sounds a bit suspicious, perhaps a bevy of Trial Lawyers should dig into this? 23 hours in surgery, was his fatigue a factor in why some organs were not saved? I will guarantee you that such quackery will not occur under the One's helm again.

Triangle Man said...

What a great story.


Certainly the wonders of a first-of-its-kind medical procedure must say something important about imaginary health policies.

Issob Morocco said...

Squire Althouse Cohen said

"Yeah, enough rational thinking -- let's bring everyone to tears instead!"


Your words are very salient, too bad emotion and intentions are what Liberals seem to thrive on, not rational thinking. Look at Katrina, Iraq, Great Society, Home foreclosures, unemployment, etc.

Please be sure to share those same thoughts on liberal driven issues that plumb the depths of our emotions to help someone stay in a house that they could not afford to begin with, and now want my help to stay there.

Rational thinking says, go rent. Emotions say, have the feds bail them out. Just stay consistent lest you become a hypocrite.

holdfast said...

Funny, you don't hear about this sort of thing in Canada or other socialist medical paradises - I wonder why. Silly girl just used up three lifetimes of medical rations.

MadisonMan said...

Certainly the wonders of a first-of-its-kind medical procedure

I believe it was the 2nd operation of that kind.

Pogo said...

"I wish people would stop and think before assuming that every emotionally moving story supports the opinion they had in the first place."

Whatever makes you think this sort of emotionally moving story would happen regardless of health-care policy?

In Britain's NHS, for example, the gummint told 100,000 Alzheimers patients that $4 per day was "too much" to spend on them, so they will not get that medication.

This miracle has everything to do with health care policy. Socialism isn't replete with such miracles.

Beautiful stories in science and medicine aren't like sunsets or a wildflower blooming. Ignoring the process and systems that permitted the miracle to occur at all is naive.

Is it a pretty thing? Yes, very pretty. it makes me smile. If all you wish to do is admire its prettiness, well fine. I like to ask why things are as they are, however. It would be nice if more such miracles occurred. But that doesn't happen when the question Why? is ignored.

Pogo said...

Shorter: Gee, when I killed the goose, no more golden eggs!
**sads**

fcai said...

Yeah, being lectured by a mommie's boy communist about emotions is a bit much.

Now get back in the gym and see if you can grow your arms to the size of those belonging to your beloved Nubian queen. Oh, right, we covered that yesterday - that would require that you have as much testosterone as a black woman. Nevermind...

Darcy said...

Excellent, Pogo. And I'm grateful to you for mentioning Britain's shocking treatment of Alzheimer's patients. People like to bury their heads in the sand and say it won't happen here. It almost surely will.

Triangle Man said...

@madisonman

"The operation was the first of its kind in a child. "

bearbee said...

But that doesn't happen when the question Why? is ignored.

My question, of a more mercenary nature, is how?.

How much did the surgery/ hospital stay cost?

How much will follow-up care cost?

How is it being paid for: private insurance, state insurance fund, donations, other?

How much of its costs did the hospital recover?

How much is the family's obligation?

mcg said...

I wish people would stop and think before assuming that every emotionally moving story supports the opinion they had in the first place.

Even though I generally agree with JAC's detractors on their views of Obamacare, I do think he has more of a point than people are acknowledging.

Every health care system imposes limits on treatment dictated by money. Private insurance doesn't cover every possible treatment, either. If your provider decides that some surgery you need is too experimental---well, you'd better start holding bake sales.

Oligonicella said...

bearbee --

The questions you didn't ask were; what was learned, has this operation shown ways to improve others, can this be a teaching tool? Every operation or provision of health care cannot be measured in strictly dollars and cents. Medicine, like any other science, must invest in the edge to advance.

Pogo said...

"Every health care system imposes limits on treatment dictated by money. Private insurance doesn't cover every possible treatment, either."

The point is not that the free (well, freer) market permits unlimited consumption, but that choice becomes increasingly constricted the further removed financing is from the consumer. At the most concentrated power level, a central government is simultaneously most restrictive and most coercive.

That is, the government becomes the consumer. The patient is an object only.

Miracles like this are possible only when choice is available and profit is sufficient to permit largesse and experimentation.

It's the difference between being able to buy either a Corolla or a Porsche, or being forced to buy a Zaporozhets, the people's car.

mcg said...

I do see your point, Pogo, but it suggests to me that someone could "thread the needle" policywise by introducing a minimal but universal health care plan while allowing people to purchase supplemental benefits. Such a practice would be familiar to many people who benefit from company-subsidized health care: for instance, I pay extra for a PPO when I could have just settled for a cheaper HMO.

Even better, how about a refundable tax credit for health care! Hmm, where have I heard that?

traditionalguy said...

@JAC...Rational thinking requires a world view to operate within, and the world view that spends say$3,000,000.00 on the extension of life for a mere female child without skills or education and who could be purchased anywhere for a few hundred dollars overseas is not "rationally" Utilitarian. And also thinking "rationally" how many Abortions Death Camps could have been Goverment funded with that much money? Maybe we must save ourselves and defer Rationing Decisions to the Eminent Rationals who have so much higher education that they do Evil deeds more efficiently. After all there is a crisis.

rhhardin said...

Note that 4 degrees above zero is probably centigrade, if you're going to try it at home.

Cedarford said...

This is now touted as a "feel-good story" about heroic medical measures.

Cost is deemed no object because the taxpayers fund generous firefighter benefits. And the remainder is possibly going to be covered by donations because it is an attractive young white girl. What's left of the bills will be spread out by the hospital to other patients.
(Hospitals occasionally love stunts like this, such as the liver and lung transplant Humana did for an illegal alien - proudly saying that Mexico lacked the "ability...all while Humana denies preventative tests to Americans lacking health coverage.)

The fate of the young girl of course is omitted in the "feel good story". Besides lacking a pancreas, making her an instant, total diabetic, she also lacks a normal stomach...So the "heroes" tried salvaging her fuctioning with a length of intestine serving as a "pouch" for special gruel that will be about what she exists on the remainder of her life.

Left unsaid, because it is unsavory is the odds - that since the cancer HAD metastasized - surgeon examination of adjacent organs missed smaller tumors and the cancer will recur. Those odds are not insignificant.

***********************
"traditionalguy said...
The next time the Obamacrats tell us that there is no health care until they Socialize medicine and begin rationing the cost/benefits of life, someone please bring this miracle up."

They will, so will the business community, and many independents and moderates to boot because the "miracles" aside, the overall picture of US healthcare is that it is in deep trouble and failing with respect to other nations.

1. Our healthcare costs twice as much as other nations - yet we have a lower life expectancy - mainly because we have 40 million uninsured and 70 million with inadequate medical and dental insurance.

2. More than the Euro or Asian nations, we have severe financial threats to continuing medical care under those the government DOES cover, which are presently outside the 110 million uninsured or underinsured Americans. We have a 32 trillion unfunded mandate for Medicaid, Medicare, Prescription Drug subsidies. Everyone knows rationing is coming. (Except for cute young white girls needing "miracles", or powerful single issue/disease groups like the gays and the AIDs Cause).

3. Business has now come onboard. No way can they compete globally with health care costs 60% to twice as high as other advanced nations. No way can they compete if only America adds the cost of health care to the cost on each good or service. We once got away with it because we were so ahead in technology and productivity and we had the Dollar as global King Currency. No more. We change our healthcare methods or we end Free Trade for Free Market Freedom Lovers!

I'd rather keep Free Markets(but regulated) and Free (but Fair) Trade. In return for Universal Health Care and less costs but longer life expectencies.

traditionalguy said...

Health care is so expensive because of the Miracles of the new technologies. In 1970 the idea of a heart by-pass surgery was just this unique an event. How many of you have had a parent or yourself live past 62 only because of that "miracle"? If the brave new world of socialized medicine is your preference today, then our last 70 years of working at living longer has become just too expensive. But that will also solve the Social Security Trust Fund dilemma. All we rational planners need next is to require chain smoking and out-law seat belt usage for those over 62. I really get into this Planning stuff. It makes know that I am smarter than everyone who refuses to see the need to have the retired people die quicker. After all there is a crisis.

cardeblu said...

As a medical transcriptionist, I would have loved to have transcribed that operative report, or reports most likely. It's like being there through the surgeons' eyes but without the actual sights, sounds or...smells.

Very cool, indeed.

Pogo said...

"I'd rather keep Free Markets(but regulated) and Free (but Fair) Trade. In return for Universal Health Care and less costs but longer life expectencies."

Why you believe the kudzu of socialism can be kept in its corner is a mystery.

holdfast said...

"If your provider decides that some surgery you need is too experimental---well, you'd better start holding bake sales."

Whereas in Canada it is illegal for the Dr to take your money, freely offered, in return for a life-saving procedure. I am not completely opposed to some sort of government insurance scheme of last resort - but anyone who wants to emulate Canada should be lobotomized.

Triangle Man said...

@holdfast

"but anyone who wants to emulate Canada should be lobotomized."

Is that covered?

Pogo said...

"Is that covered?"

It's the natural state of socialists.

SMGalbraith said...

I'm enjoying this amazing story. Simply wonderful.

Not to sound preachy but we can debate, I think, healthcare at another time and with another story.

Greg Toombs said...

This surgeon has the hands of God.

blake said...

1. Our healthcare costs twice as much as other nations - yet we have a lower life expectancy - mainly because we have 40 million uninsured and 70 million with inadequate medical and dental insurance.

Well, no, I think it's mainly because we're more honest about reporting numbers. We don't report a baby as being born dead unless, you know, it's actually born dead.

Heroic measures are used, and if they fail, we cop to it. Other countries? Not so heroic, no copping.

But even if it is true, how many of your 40 million don't have insurance because they don't want it? About 30 million from what I've read.

Isn't it great to live in a country where you have the right to apportion your money as you see fit, rather than how someone else sees fit?

And, doesn't it suck that you must then be used as a pawn by socialists who want to take that money from you anyway?

How about we try a real free market for health care? No tax deductions for insurance, no monopoly for the AMA, and the FDA lets us decide with our doctors what meds to take? Get rid of the unions and the exorbitant damages in lawsuits while we're at it.

I was in an NICU as a newborn. Cost? $25/day. Today's cost (adjusted for inflation) would probably run about 20 times that for approximately the same care. (Heroic measures excluded.)

The state, having driven up the cost of medicine, now wants to rescue us from its own exaggerated effect on the market.

State-run medicine is like state-run schools: People will end up paying a fortune for mediocre (and rapidly declining) free health care, with no exit and one party with a permanently entrenched voter base.

sesilia said...

This is very nice and informative blog thanks for sharing this information.Removal in Sutton are fully insured to provide your belongings the extra cushion that they might need during the transit and giving you the peace of mind that your valuable possessions are in good hands.

GuildWars2Items said...

One may fall in love with many people during the lifetime. When you finally get your own happiness 4story Gold, you will understand the previous sadness is kind of treasure, which makes you better to hold and cherish the people you love 4story Luna, We all live in the past. We take a minute to know someone, one hour to like someone, and one day to love someone, but the whole life to forget someone 4story Gold.

Be truthful, do what you know is right, put forth effort when it is called for persist Diablo 3 Power Leveling, and the more you do so, the more easily you'll be able to do so Diablo 3 PowerLeveling.Exercise your strength, and you'll surely grow stronger, more capable, and Diablo iii PowerLeveling