What Is Self-Surgery?

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  • Written By: Esther Ejim
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 25 October 2019
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Just like the name suggests, self-surgery is a type of procedure where an individual performs surgery on his or herself for whatever reason.One of the reasons an individual might perform self-surgery may be if he or she is injured in circumstances beyond his or her control with no help in sight. This may also be due to some form of mental problem. Another reason why an individual may resort to self-surgery is out of a sense of extreme embarrassment regarding his or her perception about a condition that might require surgery.


One reason why an individual might resort to this surgery is due to situations the individual has no control over. For instance, if a hiker falls off a cliff and sustains some kind of injury, he or she might decide to attempt self-surgery if there is no help in sight and time is of the essence. Usually, this type of self-surgery is restricted to fairly minor types of surgery that is within the reach of the individual and any equipment he or she might have at hand to aid in the process. Assuming the hiker who falls off the cliff is carrying a backpack that contains a first aid kit, he or she could use the instruments in the first aid kit to perform some sort of rudimentary self-surgery, perhaps to stem the tide of blood loss or to correct some external injuries pending any arrival of help. This type of surgery may also be attributed some kind of mental or psychological disorder, including cases where people are suffering from distorted opinions of their bodies, causing them to perform acts of self-surgery in an attempt to correct the misconception.

Another reason a person might decide to perform this type of surgery on himself or herself is due to a sense of shame regarding his or her condition. The condition might be something that the person may not wish for others to know about, or it may also be that the person sustained the injury in the course of doing something illegal and does not want the authorities to notice the injury. For instance, somebody that was shot in the arm during a botched burglary might decide to attempt self-surgery rather than to go to the hospital, because that might prove to be too risky for the individual since the hospital might be obligated to report such an injury to the authorities.


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