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Surgeons Share Their Wildest 'Oh Sh*t' Moments With A Patient

When your life hangs in the balance on the operating table, the last thing you want to hear – if you're conscious – from a surgeon is, "Oh, sh*t!"

At that moment, many scenarios may flash before your eyes.

Did the surgeon inadvertently nick a major artery?

Or did they discover you were incubating an alien egg along the gastrointestinal wall?

Whatever it is, all anyone in the OR can hope for is a smooth surgery without any surprises.

But that isn't always the case.

With many close calls that likely happen in the OR, those who are in the medical field – along with patients – responded to Redditor Potential_ganache_40's inquiry of:

"Surgeons of reddit, what was your 'oh sh*t' moment ?"
Spoiler alert: there's a lot of hemorrhaging going on.

Never Come To Surgery On A Full Stomach

"I was doing a corneal transplant when I had the 'oh sh*t' moment. During surgery, I cut off the patient's own cornea and replace it with a new donor cornea. During that moment when the host cornea was off but before I could get the new one on, there's literally nothing on the front of the eye except a tear film and aqueous humor. Anyway, the patient takes that moment to start vomiting."

"The reason we tell everyone to skip food and drink is so they don't aspirate in case they throw up. This patient lied about eating breakfast and started throwing up everything. The eye is still 'open sky' at this time. Everything inside of the eye can now become outside of the eye. And she's bucking and vomiting."

"Those not in the know will say this is not good. Those really in the know will say 'oh sh*t.'"

"Anyway, I had to grab the new cornea and start stitching as fast as I could on a patient actively throwing up. I use 10-0 nylon sutures which are thinner than an eyelash. It turned out okay but not great."

"Don't lie about eating breakfast before surgery, folks."


Baby Like A Cannonball

"Doing a C-Section for this poor Mum who'd been in labour for hours. Baby wouldn't come out of the hole we'd made, so more pressure was applied to the fundus (top of the uterus) and suddenly whoooooosh, baby zooms out like a torpedo, covered in lubricating vernix, zips over the surgical sheeting which has the texture of a slip n slide and almost rockets straight off the table. The baby's foot was caught by the Reg who whipped her up in the air upside down like in old cartoons, but almost dropped her again due to gloves + vernix. Thankfully the midwife was ready with the towel and caught the baby to wrap her up. Mum and Dad seemed to think this was normal practice and didn't notice but me and my colleague just stared at each other with a look of absolute horror. It still makes me shudder to think how close the baby was to hitting the floor head first. Never happened before or since."


Catheter Removal

"When I was a new RN working the ICU in a large teaching hospital, I came into work one morning to a patient that was admitted that night, intubated (breathing tube in), sedated, Foley catheter (tube in pee pee hole) and all. Long story short, he was extubated (breathing tube out) that same shift and was completely alert and oriented."

"He was an end stage renal patient meaning his kidneys didn't work and he needed dialysis, and was only in his late 30s. Said he neve made urine anymore and didn't need the Foley catheter so he wanted it out because it was hurting."

"Now the catheter bag had been empty my whole shift which is normal seeing as how he didn't make urine anymore, and this hospital had a nurse driven Foley removal policy, meaning while we needed a doctor's order to insert one, we could remove one at our discretion, unless a Dr specifically put in orders not to. This patient had no such dr order, so I went to remove the catheter. They are held in the bladder by a balloon on the end that is inflated with 10ml of saline. I deinflated the balloon removing 10ml of saline, and pulled it out."

"As soon as the cather left his penis, blood started pouring out in a heavy stream. Turns out the nurse who placed it on admission hadn't advanced it far enough since there was no urine production to indicate correct placement and had inflated the balloon while still in his urethra causing trauma."

"It would not stop bleeding. I had to hold this man's penis "shut" to put pressure on it while my coworker paged the resident who came and looked at me with pitty as he told me to just keep holding this 30 something year old man's penis In my hands to staunch the blood flow until urology could get there to assess. It just kept gushing blood everytime I eased up to check. For over an hour total I held this mans penis and tried to make polite conversation until the urologist arrived."


"Can I Still Have Anal Sex?"

"Surgeon here. I've dealt with loads of morbid stuff but one thing that made me stop and go 'oh sh*t' was a conversation with a young patient who had a perforated colon from diverticular disease, which is a common wear and tear of the colon. He was one of youngest patients I had seen with this condition and certainly the youngest with a perforation so bad as to require an operation. When I was counselling him on the operation, which involves removing the perforated part of the colon and giving him a colostomy, he told me his biggest concern was how he was going to have anal sex with his same-sex partner. He would only have a small stump of rectum left inside, which would be at risk of perforation with any force applied to it. It made me really think about the implications of the surgery we do. The operation is the easy part!"


Liver Transplant Accident

"I was the patient."

"I had a liver transplant and was having an ercp done to place a new bile duct stent. Well apparently my anatomy is different than normal, and my lungs go more down my sides. So he accidentally caused a nick, which caused a hemothorax. So when I woke up I couldn't breathe, they did an xray and had to do a chest tube. Eventually I was so exhausted I asked to be vented so he vented me. Apparently he cried he felt so bad about it all."

"But it wasn't him being malicious or negligent, it was simply an accident."


Ruptured Uterus

"Heard an 'oh sh*t' moment as a patient on the operating table. A couple of years ago I was in labor for 28 hours, pushing for six, when my child started showing signs of distress. He had slightly elevated heart rate and I had the makings of a fever. My midwife at the hospital told me the doctor was coming in to check to see if a vacuum assist could help. She checks me and immediately stands up with blood on her hand and says we're going to the OR now. At that time, I started feeling that zoomed out tunnel vision I know for me is shock. I had anxiety, but figured she knew what was best. She did. We got in the OR 8 minutes later and when they opened me up, I heard the surgeon say, "oh sh*t. Look at this.'"

"They say blood in my catheter bag and upon fully opening me up found my son was actually trying to come through my uterus. He had ruptured it. They got my son out. Those moments where he was stunned and not crying were an eternity. He cried and he was born a completely healthy baby. After I woke up and was back in my room the doctor came in and told me what happened. I knew a ruptured uterus sounded bad, but oh damn I googled and started having a massive anxiety attack. A ruptured uterus is extremely rare and so very dangerous and often fatal. I read from the time it happens you have about 15 minutes before you bleed out and baby is dead. When I went back for my post csection follow up my midwife let me know as a practice that's been around 35 years with over 30 midwives and doctors they had never once encountered that and it was such a big deal for them a few days after my birth they all got together to discuss my case. I was so incredibly fortunate I chose to labor in hospital, that the doctor just knew from my vitals and baby's that something was off. They just didn't know until they got me open. I can't even tell you how grateful I am for Dr. S. You saved my life and my son's life and our family with forever be grateful."


Polyp Removal

"Gastroenterologist here. Was removing a large polyp during a colonoscopy. I put the snare around then polyp (kinda of like a cowboy throwing a lasso) - it took an unusually long time to severe the base of the polyp - until, all of a sudden, blood started squirting from where the polyp was removed. The screen quickly turned red with blood. I couldn't see shit. The patients blood pressure started to drop. The patient, who was a dark skinned middle eastern man, turned pale white on the stretcher in front of me. Thats when I felt like i was gonna faint and empty my own bowels... the only thing i could think was 'Oh Sh*t.'"


It's Not A Toomah

"Not me but my uncle - he's a respirologist and was supervising/sitting in on lung surgery to remove a tumor. Turns out the tumor was a rootball - some type of seed had gotten into the patient's lungs and started to grow."


"Yeah imagine telling someone 'we found a tree inside you' and that being a much better outcome!"


Bone Drop

"Not a surgeon, but I was observing a hand surgery about a year ago at a teaching hospital. The surgeon was removing one of the carpals (the bones near the base of the hand) to be used later. A nurse was given the carpal to hold until it needed to be used. She ended up dropping the patient's bone on the ground."


When You Refuse Medical Attention

"Just an RN here. I was working in the ER and had a patient brought in by her husband. Apparently the woman had a fall a week prior and injured her face but refused medical care. Her husband finally forced her to come in. As soon as I see the wound on her face (from across the room) I think, 'that does not look like any wound Ive seen.' I approached her and realized maggots had infested the wound and were eating the rotting skin. A really simple and quick fix but I cant imagine her living conditions."


"Dozen Hammers To The Jaw"

"As the patient, I hope if the oral surgeon is on Reddit they posted this story."

"Wisdom teeth removal, all 4 impacted, gotta break out the heavy hardware. I'm knocked out, don't even know the dentist entered the room. I wake up, but not able to move, just eyes open awake but my limbs won't react to my brain. I can feel the dentist hammering a chisel into my tooth to break it for extraction. My jaw is just coming undone on every hit. My eyes are wide open, jaw even wider with some evil metal contraption. I'm staring at the assistant begging for her to see me, and after about a dozen hammers to my jaw she glances over and drops the suction, jumps up and shrieks. The dentist stops to look at her, then looks at me and I see him say "oh sh*t".

"Next thing I know I'm waking up post surgery. Sh*t that nightmares are made of."

"Edit: lot of replies, so this was a military dentist, yes they put me under and no insurance involved, not sure what they used for anesthesia. Yes I could feel pain from the impact but not nerve pains in the actual tooth."


The Fainting Nurse

"My grandfather told a story about a clamp coming off an artery while he was pulling a kidney in rural Wyoming in the early 50's."

"The abdominal cavity was quickly filling with blood and the nurse fainted. He was able to push down with his elbow on the descending aorta and got the clamp back on. Patient lived, but I think he chose his surgical assistants little more carefully after that."


People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.