14-Year-Old Invented Technique for Stitching the Uterus

tony hansberry, gifted students
Tony Hansberry works on a mannequin to develop a technique for helping inexperienced surgeons.

Kids these days! If they’re not being semi-finalists in science competitions or sailing around the world, they’re out inventing new surgical techniques to help, get this, less experienced surgeons make fewer mistakes.

Whatever happened to throwing rocks through windows and huffing glue?

When Tony Hansberry II graduated high school last year, he had already accomplished what few do at the end of medical school, according to the Milwaukee Courier. At 14 years old, during his freshman year at Darnell-Cookman Middle/High School of the Medical Arts in Jacksonville, Florida, the gifted teen came up with the “endo stitch.”

Hansberry had been doing a comparison of laparoscopic tools used for hysterectomies when the idea of the stitch came to mind. Hansberry already knew something about suturing since his school requires a certain level of mastery by the eighth grade.

The endo stitch can be used in hysterectomies “that could not be clamped down properly to close the tube where the patient’s uterus had been,” according to Jackie Jones, who wrote about the medical ingenue for Hansberry is being celebrated at the site for being a young and accomplished black student. “Using a medical dummy, the  [then] 14-year-old devised a vertical way to apply the endo stitch, completing the stitching in a third of the time of traditional surgery.”

Hansberry, the son of an Episcopal minister and a registered nurse, won second place for the endo stitch in a science fair a few years ago. He apparently hopes to become a neurosurgeon, and my guess is he’ll do exactly that. Impressive!


Article Posted 4 years Ago
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