The amazing story of dr. Tzaicu- the first surgeon in the world to perform hernia surgery on himself

Going through surgery is stressful, but performing surgery on yourself is more unbelievable. More than a hundred years ago, Romanian surgeon Alexandru Tzaicu was doing just that. He was only 26 years old when he performed a hernia surgery on himself.

It was a successful experiment which allowed him to get a Ph.D. According to, Tzaicu was put under anesthesia using stove and strychnine. The whole experiment was described in two scientific papers ” The general riahanesthesia” by Thomas Ionescu and ” Stomatology treaty” by Raymond Nogue.

The surgery took place on September 23rd, 1909 at the Saint Mary sanatory in Iasi. Professor Ernest Juvara and other doctors, including a photographer were present at the event for the first hernia auto-surgery in the world. Back then, any type of surgery was risky. Nevertheless, Tzaicu wanted to prove that Ionescu’s rahianesthesia is working. The doctor said that he was not encouraged by anyone and nobody agreed with his opinions. More than that, everyone was against this surgery mostly because a patient would not be able to be operated by sitting upwards.

The surgery room was prepared and just in case things went wrong, the doctors have prepared artificial serum, ether, caffeine and camphor oil.

Extrema pricepere. Povestea chirurgului roman care a reusit sa se auto-opereze



After being sterilized in the lumbar area doctor Juvara performed anesthesia on Tzaicu. Tzaicu has described all that he felt during anesthesia and during the surgery in his thesis. Going forward during the surgery, Tzaicu was stil discouraged to continue with the experiment, however, he continued by injecting himself with a dose of stove. He also asked the photographer to take photos of the interior of the human body during the surgery.
The surgery was a success, as reported by several doctors such as Eduardo Bassini and Richard Constantinescu. Tzaicu noted, however, that the anesthesia was not perfect and needed improvement.


Later on, other doctors have attempted auto-surgery. In 1921 American Evan O’Neill performed appendicitis surgery on himself and later on, he also did a hernia surgery.


Extrema pricepere. Povestea chirurgului roman care a reusit sa se auto-opereze.

In 1961 27-year-old Leonid Rogozov from Russia also performed an appendicitis surgery on himself while in Antarctica.


Extrema pricepere. Povestea chirurgului roman care a reusit sa se auto-opereze.





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