Today’s Doodle, created by guest artist Chau Luong, celebrates the 110th birthday of Dr. Tôn Tht Tùng, an inventive surgeon who changed the way doctors around the world approached liver resection surgery.
On this day in 1912, Dr. Tùng was born in Hué, Vietnam, at a time when the French colonial authorities prevented Vietnamese citizens from pursuing further medical study. Dr. Tùng criticised this harsh policy as an adult, igniting a campaign for equal education. In 1938, his efforts persuaded the colonial authority to enable Vietnamese students to sit for residency entrance exams.
Dr. Tùng dissected more than 200 livers over his four years of postgraduate study and was the first to do such careful research on the organ. His thorough understanding of liver anatomy led him to conclude that the usual approach to liver surgery—a three- to six-hour procedure—was unnecessarily dangerous and time-consuming.
Dr. Tùng started a new surgery method that reduced bleeding by constricting hepatic veins prior to surgery, cutting the procedure time in half to four to eight minutes. His innovative approach, known as the “Tôn Tht Tùng Method,” is renowned among surgeons around the world for its ability to limit blood loss and save lives.
Happy birthday Dr. Tôn Thất Tùng! Thank you for forever changing the medical industry by pushing the boundaries of surgery.