"Mirror man" patient receives gall bladder removal surgery

A 17-year-old patient, dubbed “mirror man,” had successful gull bladder removal surgery in Shanghai. His heart, liver and spleen were all on the “wrong side.”
Ti Gong

A 17-year-old patient has received successful gall bladder removal surgery in Shanghai. Dubbed “Mirror Man,” his heart, liver and spleen were on the “wrong side” of his body.

For most people, the heart and spleen grow on the left side in the body, while the liver is on the right. However, for this patient from Zhejiang Province, identified as Zhang, his heart and spleen are on his right side, while his liver and gall bladder were on the left side.

Zhang was diagnosed as a gall-stone patient earlier in the year, and was put forward for gall bladder removal surgery. However, Zhang said doctors at hospitals he visited expressed their worries about the risk of the surgery due to his unusual organ structure.

Ti Gong

“Mirror Man’s” heart and spleen are on the right side, while his liver and gall bladder are on the left.

Zhang then visited Shanghai East Hospital in July and was introduced to Hu Hai, director of the hospital’s gallstone department, who is experienced in “mirror patient” surgery.

According to the hospital, about one person in a million is a “mirror man” case.

“It would be like looking into a mirror when carrying out the surgery, which a lot of surgeons are not used to,” said Hu.

After several rounds of discussions with hospital experts and some magnetic resonance tests that showed the precise position of Zhang’s organs, Hu decided to use his left hand to hold the blade instead of his right as is his usual practice.

The surgery was held successfully on July 28 and lasted 20 minutes.

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