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Doctor Performs Colonoscopy on Himself to Better Understand Patients’ Pain

In order to better understand what his patients go through, Dr. Feng Zhuo, a deputy director of the Proctology Department at a Shanghai hospital, recently performed a 15-minute colonoscopy on himself.

Ask anyone who’s ever had a colonoscopy and they’ll tell you that it’s one of the most painful and uncomfortable things they’ve ever experienced. Despite sedation being used to relieve discomfort, having a flexible instrument about the diameter of an index finger inserted through your backside and poking around through your colon is not the most pleasant thing in the world, but it is the most effective way of detecting bowel diseases like colon cancer. No one in their right mind would ever undergo the invasive procedure unless their life literally depended on it, and yet one Chinese proctologist  performed it on himself, even though he didn’t need to.

On August 31, Dr. Feng Zhuo became his own patient, inserting the colonoscope into his anus and guiding it through his colon for 15 minutes, just to see how it feels. Feng is not as crazy as you might think, he just wanted to experience a colonoscopy so he could improve his surgical skills in order to make the procedure more comfortable for his patients.

Following the unusual intervention, Zhuo posted detailed notes about the experience on his WeChat profile, emphasizing that doctors must perform colonoscopies very gently in order to avoid causing excruciating pain, and also recommending the use of better tasting laxatives. He said that he made the decision to undergo the procedure after careful consideration, ultimately deciding that the well-being of his patients was worth the risk.

 

Talk about going above and beyond for your patients, right?

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