14 Year Old Young Man Invents New Surgical Technique
Tony Hansberry II isn’t waiting to finish medical school to contribute to improved medical care. He has already developed a stitching technique that can be used to reduce surgical complications, as well as the chance of error among less experienced surgeons.
“I’ve always had a passion for medicine,” he said in a recent interview. “The project I did was, basically, the comparison of novel laparoscopic instruments in doing a hysterectomy repair.”
By the way, Hansberry is a 14-year-old high school freshman.
In April, the brilliant teen presented his findings at a medical conference at the University of Florida before an audience of doctors and board-certified surgeons.
Hansberry attends Darnell-Cookman, a special medical magnet school that allows him to take advanced classes in medicine. Students at the school master suturing in eighth grade.
“I just want to help people and be respected, knowing that I can save lives,” said Hansberry, the son of a registered nurse and an African Methodist Episcopal church pastor. His goal is to become a neurosurgeon.
The idea for his procedure developed last summer during an internship at the University of Florida’s Center for Simulation Education and Safety Research at Shands Hospital in Jacksonville.
Hansberry responded to a challenge to improve a procedure called the endo stitch, used in hysterectomies that could not be clamped down properly to close the tube where the patient’s uterus had been. The teen devised a vertical way to apply the endo stitch and, using a medical dummy, completed the stitching in a third of the time of traditional surgery.