Tony Hansberry II is just 14 and has pioneered a new technique to speed up and simplify the difficult task of sewing up hysterectomy patients. This could open up the procedure to less seasoned surgeons.
Last Summer the Jacksonville teen completed a University of Florida’s Center for Simulation Education and Safety Research internship. During this time he was asked by an obstetrics and gynaecology professor, Brent Seibel, to help him figure out why surgeons were not using a standard dipstick (with clamps on the end) device called an Endostitch to sew up hysterectomy patients.
Tony spotted the issue and created a totally independent solution to utilise the device in a fashion not explored before. The professor couldn’t even fully explain and was quoted as saying “Instead of buttoning your shirt side to side, what about doing it up and down?”
Basically the endostich could not clamp properly on the tube where the uterus was. Tony suggested the device be used in a different manner from its design to secure the tube vertically rather than horizontally.
He was able to replicate the stitching procedure around 3 times the regular speed with his untrained hands! The technique needs to be tested with experienced surgeons now.
If you wondered how Tony ended up interning at a hospital at his young age it’s because he is a student at Shands at Darnell-Cookman Middle/High School, a magnet school in the medical field.