Friday, August 31, 2007

All about House #2: CNN Says House MD is REAL...

Ok. Headline is a tad sensationalist. But it's an interesting CNN news clip on just how real the medical mysteries of House MD are.

My favourite bit... Chances are Gregory House wouldn't be employed for long. Damn straight. But I wouldn't mind dipping into his Vicodin bin from time to time :)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

All about House #1: Hugh Laurie audition...

House Season 3 is in full swing in South Africa - and we're hooked. Cynical bastard. Loving it.

Found his audition on YouTube. Enjoy!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Manto vs. Joburg Gen

It has just been announced that the name of the Johannesburg General Hospital will be changed. From 1 September 2007 it will officially be known as the Manto Tshabalala-Msimang Pub & Grill.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Male Pregnancy: True or Hoax?

Now I'm confused. Anonymous (WHY always anonymous!?) posted a link to an urban myth page - with this exact story on it.

Extract from that site here:

Claim: A man who has had an embryo implanted in his abdomen is engaged in the world's first human male pregnancy.

Status: False.

Origins: The possibility of a man's becoming pregnant has been the subject of more than a few works of speculative fiction and comedy, and the topic was given some sober consideration in the media after the British weekly New Society ran an article discussing specifics of the procedure in 1986. It could be done, New Society reasoned, if an egg were fertilized in vitro and implanted in a man's abdominal cavity. The embryo would have to attach itself to a major organ, the man would have to undergo hormone injections, and the child would have to be delivered by caesarian section, but it was possible, they speculated. (The child would have to be male, though, or else the necessary hormone injections would effectively castrate the male host.)

The dangers of such a course of action are far too high for the idea to be taken as anything more than a bit of scientific "what if" entertainment, however. Although some women have successfully given birth to children conceived outside the womb, ectopic pregnancies are quite dangerous, and nearly all ectopic embryos are removed soon after diagnosis. For a man to attempt to carry a child to term in such a manner would be an unacceptably high risk (especially since the placenta would have to be left to decay inside the man's body after he gave "birth," as its removal would result in major haemorrhaging).

Now, fourteen years later, people have begun to wonder about the web site at, which purports to chronicle the efforts of one Lee Mingwei to carry off the "first human male pregnancy." The site hosts video clips of "Mr. Lee," an ultrasound video of his "baby," an "interview" in which he explains why he's doing this, a discussion of how male pregnancy is scientifically possible, and a chat room where visitors can discuss the "social implications" of male pregnancies.

Is this for real? No. It is, like its sister site at (where you can "Create your own genetically healthy child online!"), an exercise in speculative fantasy. Follow the links from the "Credits" section, and eventually you'll find a disclaimer which reads:

This site ("Site") was created to be an exploration of a very likely scenario that may one day result from new advances in biotechnology and infertility treatments. The Site itself does not provide actual commercial services, and the information contained on the Site is not represented as being factually accurate. This is a fictitious web site created by a single artist.

(You can also read profiles of Lee Mingwei and his collaborator, Virgil Wong, on the web.)

Perhaps some day these concepts might indeed become reality, but for now they exist only within the realm of fiction.

Odd. I searched around on their site for a while, even looking at their disclaimer which only reads:

The information on RYT Hospital-Dwayne Medical Center's web site is provided as a general reference; it is not to be used or relied upon for any medical decisions, diagnostic purposes, or medical treatments. This information is not intended to be patient education, and it does not create any patient-physician relationship. This site should not be used as a substitute for diagnosis and treatment by a medical professional.

Please consult your physician before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. RYT Hospital-Dwayne Medical Center expressly disclaims responsibility, and shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site. RYT Hospital-Dwayne Medical Center does not endorse specifically any test, treatment, or procedure mentioned on this site.

By visiting this site you agree to the foregoing terms and conditions, which may from time to time be changed by RYT Hospital-Dwayne Medical Center. If you do not agree to the foregoing terms and conditions, please leave this site immediately.

Now what?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Male Pregnancy: The YouTube Interview

There have been a couple of comments over the last week on our male pregnancy post. Nooo. Can't be. Impossible. You're yanking our chain. La la la.

Chaps. It's true.

Check out the interview...

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Male Pregnancy?

OK. So this isn't new news... But I'm willing to bet there are a BUNCH of people out there who don't read Time Magazine. So here it is. And it's FASCINATING! This is why I became a doctor (for weird shit, of course!).

My last post introduced the concept of extra-uterine pregnancy. So, is male pregnancy possible? Time magazine seems to think so...

Now, my position on this first of all (scroll down if you really must see the picture). As a women's rights activist (mostly), I DON'T think that men should throw down the corporate life and take up the child bearing role. Firstly, as a Doctor, I believe that it is extemely dangerous and you risk the life of not only the fetus, but also of the father.

Implantation has to be in a good place (where the HELL might that be in a man?! - Andy) giving a good supply of blood to the fetus... and at the same time not harming the father. Believe it or not, the liver is NOT a good place (when the placenta detaches, the liver could bleed out... it gets messy!).

There are a LOT of variables that Doctors have to get extremely right to make this safe.

Secondly, I don't know whether I believe that men should have to go through the extremely artificial physiological process required to have a baby. Any man wishing this on himself would have to be pumped with the right hormones to keep the fetus alive. What long lasting effects will this have on his body? How is this going to affect his emotions? God. Can you imagine a man PMS'ing? They can barely handle flu as it is.

Which brings me to my final (emotional - because I can) point. Do men have the nuturing emotional capability to go through pregnancy? I know a lot of girls wouldn't appear to have the traits. Then they get pregnant - and everything changes. I dont' know why, I can't explain it - but I think at least a good portion of it is encoded into our DNA as genetically historic child-bearers!
Can open. Worms everywhere.

Check it out... The world's first male pregnancy from RYT Hospital. Good luck Mr Lee Mingwei!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Pregnancy without a Uterus?

When I was still in medical school we had a very unusual case come to Groote Schuur Hospital. A woman had an ectopic preganancy in her liver. Tasty.

Now for those of you who don't know... or for some sicko Intern-like reason, are interested... An ectopic pregnancy simply means a pregnancy that occurs outside the uterus. Almost 100% of these will never survive as most ectopics implant into the tiny fallopian tube. At 8 weeks, the fallopian tube bursts as it cannot contain the growing fetus. Then, it's surgery and the usual save-her-life type stuff. Remove the tube, decrease fertility - but keep the patient. A delicate balancing act, no?

But, there is an exception every rule - sometimes - very rarely, the egg retrogradely moves out the fallopian tube into the abdomen and implants itself onto the bowel or peritoneal lining or, in this case, the liver...

This woman, with the help of some amazing Obstetricians and surgeons (to save her life and stuff) delivered a healthy baby girl.

And the point of the tale...

It just proves that you don't need to have a uterus to have a pregnancy... You know it's coming! Next post...