A British brain surgeon used an inexpensive cordless drill to remove a tumor from a fully conscious woman.
The operation was even caught on film and will be shown on the BBC in the United Kingdom on March 30.
Neurosurgeon Henry Marsh used a 9.6 volt Bosch drill — which cost him $65 — to perform the emergency operation on Ukranian Marian Dolishny’s head while travelling through the woman's country.
U.K. newspaper the Daily Telegraph reported that Marsh was unable to find a suitable anesthetist — so his patient was only given a local anaesthetic to cope with the pain.
And, when the cordless drill’s battery died, Marsh was forced to finish the operation by hand to save Dolishny’s life, the newspaper said. Marsh said he kept talking to his patient throughout the surgery to make sure he wasn't causing any brain damage.
“I'm not recommending that we should all use do-it-yourself drills in England, but it shows how with improvisation you can achieve a lot,” Marsh said. “I couldn't bear to stand by and do nothing. A Ukrainian doctor told me I couldn't do anything to help but I wasn't prepared to accept that.”
The 58-year-old Londoner travels to the eastern European country twice a year to perform unpaid surgeries. Documentary-makers from the BBC were following Marsh’s latest visit to the Ukraine at the time of the surgery.