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Viewing Your Own Surgical Operation on a TV Screen

Umesh is a freelance writer contributing his creative writings on varied subjects in various sites and portals in the internet.


Many people will not like to view their own surgical operation on a TV screen in real time due to obvious reasons of fear and apprehensions. In many hospitals, this facility exists and is provided on the option of the patient. However this may not be possible for all sort of operations especially where full body anesthesia is given for carrying out these surgical operations.

Incidently, I got one such situation in my life and myself having some interest in medical sciences agreed happily for this and wanted to see in real time as how the procedure goes on.

Background of the case

About 11 years back (during the year 2010) I had a problem of passing a little tinge of blood in my urine, sight of which was really dreadful for me. Seeing the red colour of blood is always a matter which alerts all of us. So, I had to rush to the doctor who did some preliminary checks and then advised for ultrasound test of the abdomen and pubic areas. I underwent the test and went to doctor with the report. I was told that there are a few small tumour like bodies (medically known as papiloma) developed in the wall of urinary bladder and protruding to inside and sometimes they get ruptured and give out blood which comes out through the urinary passage.

About urinary bladder papiloma

Urinary bladder papiloma is a medical condition in which small tumours or papiloma are produced on the wall of the bladder and their sizes can vary from a small 1-2 milli meter to 10-12 milli meter at which stage it can get ruptured with little friction or self degradation and blood specs would be seen in urine. These papolima are to be surgically removed as their increasing size can one day turn malignant also if not treated in time. Another reason to correct them in time is that sometimes they rupture or even burst and the tissue parts of it can block the urinary passage and the person has to be taken to hospital in emergency. After the surgery generally a biopsy of these papiloma is carried out to exclude the possibility of malignancy if any.

These papiloma are generally of low malignant potential. In medical terms it is known as papillary urothelial neoplasm of low malignant potential (PUNLUMP). These papiloma can build up anywhere in the walls of the bladder and are clearly seen in ultrasound scanning test of the patient.

The problem is that they do not give any early symptoms, except occasional irritation, till they get ruptured and the patient starts to pass blood specs in the urine. In many cases the person who could hold their urine for some time due to the emergency situations and relieve it slightly at a later time with the natural force get these papiloma punctured due to that force and incidentally come to know about it.

It is believed that people working in polluted and hazardous chemical industries are more prone to get this type of ailment. There could be many more other reasons for development of these papiloma conditions in the bladder of a person. Whatever it is, modern medical practitioners prescribe surgical removal of these growths.

How papiloma are removed by surgical procedure

The papiloma are identified by the ultrasound testing and their positions are ascertained. The most common procedure adopted for surgical removal of the papiloma is known as cystostomy. In this procedure a tube is inserted in the urethra of the person and pushed upto the inside of the bladder. Through this tube a thin stiff wire with a cutter at one end and a thin irrigation tube around it along with a miniature light and camera is sent there to cut the papolima slowly in small small pieces and clearing and flushing them out of the bladder through irrigating with antiseptic circulating medical solution. The surgeon will remove all the papolima being seen there. It is a meticulous job to be done through the experienced hands. Generally, it takes half an hour to one hour or may be more to clear those papiloma depending upon their numbers. The patient is given a full body anesthesia or below the waist anesthesia before operating it. Some surgeons prefer below the waist in which the only lower part of the body becomes numb and upper body part of the patient remains alright and remains in full senses. In this option, the patient can view the procedure on the TV screen.


The first operation

In my personal case, once papiloma was diagnosed by ultrasound test then I was asked to get admission in the hospital for its removal through the cystostomy procedure. At that time the doctor gave me full body anesthesia and I did not know what happened in next one and half hour. When I became concious, I was told that operation was over and soon I would be shifted to the recovery room. During this operation as I was given a full body anesthesia, I did not have opportunity to view my own operation.

After the operation, the papolima sample was sent for biopsy. Meanwhile within 2-3 days, I was discharged from the hospital. Soon, I got the report of the biopsy and it was told that though it was not cancerous but being a low order carcinoma could again develop and repeat in future.

The relapse of my bladder papiloma

After the first operation I had no problem for next 3-4 years. By the 5th year I again started to experience same problem and on ultrasound test it was found that papiloma were progressing again. This time I had also developed some prostate gland problem and I had to go for surgical correction for that also. The doctor told me that both the operations can be done in one go and I could save one trip to the hospital separately for prostate gland correction surgery.

The second operation

So having no other option, I had to get admission in the hospital and this time I was given an anesthesia in my back in the lower centre location of vertebral column and my lower body parts below the waste became totally numb. I was a bit fearful but with my little knowledge of medical science I was also eager to experience this real time view of operation on the TV screen just in front of me on the wall. It took about one and half hour where the surgeon cleared the papiloma and also enlarged the urinary passage being pressed by the prostate gland. I viewed the whole procedure of cutting the papiloma and flushing them with the medical fluid and it was really very thrilling as well as very informative. During that time I was so much engrossed in viewing that for some time I totally forget that it was happening with my own body.

In 2-3 days I was discharged from the hospital and again a biopsy report was obtained which said that it was not cancerous but could recurr in future. Anyway, 6 years have passed since and so far I do not have any such problem.


Seeing my own surgery on the screen was a very thrilling as well as a fearful experience. Whatever I read in biology or medical books was happening in my own body in front of my eyes. It was really a great experience.

© 2020 Umesh Chandra Bhatt


Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on May 14, 2021:

Medical technology is truly amazing. You're right about the experience being both thrilling and fearful.

Robert Sacchi on July 30, 2020:

You're welcome.

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Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on July 29, 2020:

Robert, thanks for your visit.

Robert Sacchi on July 29, 2020:

Yes, it is amazing. I have had some tests where they go in the body and look around. It really is fantastic what they can do thanks to miniaturization.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on May 31, 2020:

SKMUNSHI, thanks. You are my great source of encouragement.

SKMUNSHI on May 31, 2020:

The displaying of such surgeries and ones related to heart blockages and stenting on a monitor is a new norm now .But what makes it interesting is patients experienc and emotions felt during the procedure & expressed in the article , so beautifully written by you along with medical aspects of the subject.Great!

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on May 30, 2020:

Sangita, yes, it was a unique experience. Thanks for your visit.

Sangita on May 30, 2020:

Wow, that must have been a very scary yet cool experience

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 29, 2020:

Peggy, having experience in nursing you might have enjoyed the article. Very happy to note that and thanks for your visit.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 29, 2020:

Having been an O.R. nurse many years ago, I think that should the occasion happen that I would need surgery and be given the chance to view it, I would be interested.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on January 27, 2020:

Paul, thanks for visiting. Yes, the catheter was removed after 2-3 days and then only I was discharged. That is the usual practice in these operations.

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on January 27, 2020:

Thank you for sharing a very interesting article. I don't think I would want to view surgery on my body real-time but have no problem viewing similar operations on Youtube. Did you have to have a urinary catheter for a few days after the operation?

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on January 23, 2020:

Kelly Ann, appreciate visiting this medical article and your valuable comment. Actually this cystostomy operation takes about an hour or so including anthesia time. After this the catheter is fixed for collecting the urine. Only after 1-2 days when the catheter is removed, the patient is discharged and sent to home. So, it requires hospitalization.

Kelly Ann Christensen from Overland Park, Johnson County, Kansas on January 23, 2020:

This is an interesting article. Thank you for sharing your experience. It almost sounds like it could have been done outpatient, but you said you were hospitalized. If does sound like an experience that could cause one to be fearful, but excited to witness it. Glad to hear you are not having any further issues.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on January 10, 2020:

Yes Liz, this was my first experience and you can imagine how one feels when some such things which are happening in ones own body are being shown in high resolution real time video!

Anyway, thanks for your visit and comments. Appreciate.

Liz Westwood from UK on January 10, 2020:

I know people who have had similar procedures. It's amazing how much medical procedures have advanced and it must be even more amazing to view it on a screen.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on January 07, 2020:

Thanks for visiting. With technological advancements these things are possible may be more common in last 10-15 years and are a part of the process especially in good hospitals.

RoadMonkey on January 07, 2020:

That was fascinating. Thank you very much for sharing your experience. I have had a couple of minor operations but was out with total body anaesthesia with both but would have "enjoyed" watching them. I didn't know that option was available and it may not have been 30 or more years ago.

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