The Good, the Innovative, and the Downright Bizarre

From completely unnecessary tongue splitting to creative ways of recreating body parts lost by trauma or cancer; Mairead Boland brings you some bizarre and wonderful surgeries.[br]MEDICAL research has certainly advanced in recent years. Conditions that one just had to put up with or that were untreatable can now be rectified and tweaked to the patient’s liking. Here are five of some of the oddest medical procedures in use today. 1: Tongue splittingThe Lizard Man or Erik Sprague, famous for his Guinness World Record for the most weight lifted and spun on a person’s earlobes, has carried out many alterations to his body. One of the more shocking alterations he famously parades is his lizard tongue. This is a procedure carried out by a surgeon to split the tongue in half, purely for aesthetic reasons.Before you go to book in to get your tongue split, be warned: This is a procedure which comes with risk. Splitting the tongue may make it difficult to eat or even speak; when we speak we position our tongue in different ways so as to alter the flow of air and produce different sounds. Splitting the tongue affects this airflow. 2: Internal BraThis is a surgery which gives the promise of having youthful and firm looking breasts. The surgery called the Orbix Breast Support System takes approximately 45 minutes. It requires the surgeon to insert silicone plastic underneath the breast tissue; fine silk straps are then screwed to the upper rib cage to give support. The idea of this surgery is to increase the life span of the traditional breast lift which giving minimal scarring post-surgery.It has been reported that this method can last for up to ten years, compared to only five with the traditional breast lift. The surgery is recommended for women with larger breasts who require support. This can help to ease back pain and other problems associated with having larger breasts. 3: Vomit on DemandThis surgery involves placing a tube in the stomach with use of an endoscopic procedure. The tube is connected to a system called AspireAssist. There is a port valve attached to the tube. After eating, an external connector is hooked up to the port. Ten to fifteen minutes later, 30% of the calories eaten are expelled from the stomach into the toilet.Although this may sound quite dramatic and disgusting to you, it has helped many people who are dangerously obese lose weight. A device like this however does not come without its critics, some are opposed to its use as it allows people to eat as much as they want and not deal with the consequences. 4: Innie or outie?Unhappy with your belly button? The surgery to alter it takes about an hour to perform. The surgery which is called an umbilicoplasty cuts the skin form the inside, this is to ensure that no scar is left after the surgery.Reasons for having this surgery may differ. Some people may have hernia of their belly button, where they have a large bulge sticking out from their stomach. Other reasons could be not having a belly button at all, or having a belly button unsymmetrically leaning to one side. 5: Weird TransplantsIn 2012 a woman named Sherrie Walter had a successful ear transplant following the growth of her new ear under the skin of her forearm. Walter, who lost her ear to skin cancer, had cartilage removed from her ribs. Surgeons at John Hopkins University hospital in the U.S then modelled the cartilage into the shape of an ear and inserted it under the skin of her forearm where it could be nourished by blood vessels for 4 months, before transplanting it to where her ear should be.Toe to thumb transplant: the thumb is responsible for over half of the hands movement. Having opposable thumbs is what separates us from earlier primates. When people lose their thumb due to a traumatic incident or if they are born without one, it can be extremely debilitating. This procedure transplants a big toe to where one’s thumb should be. The first toe to thumb transplant was carried out in 1964 and has since become a seemingly common operation.Weather it’s to make you feel more confident or to give you necessary organs that were otherwise lacking, medicine seems to have the answer. Science continues to come up with new and inventive ways of doing things we never knew possible. Who knows what this list will look like in another ten years; it may be even weirder.