Popular Culture

Futuristic Pop Culture Surgery Tech that Surgical Technologists Desperately Want


The medical know-how and innovations of popular films might seem like an unattainable goal for mankind but given the innovations that medicine has made in new surgical procedures, robotics and even surgical technologists’ techniques, it’s not impossible. These are the ones that should be at the top of our priority list.

1. Plastic surgery wrinkle removal from “Brazil”

Plastic surgery can be one of the most invasive and inconvenient procedures a human being can endure whether it’s trying to fix a deformity from a serious accident or the ravages of aging.

The most inconvenient part is the preparation before the surgical technologist even has a chance to scrub up. The patient not only has to fast and spend days in the hospital, but they also have to be anesthetized and undergo hours of painful, invasive surgery that may or may not solve the problem. This procedure from Terry Gilliam’s bleak view of the future has one bright spot; the fact that plastic surgeons are not only able to get rid of unsightly wrinkles but are able to do so without putting the patient under and forcing them to stay overnight in the hospital. Of course, the patient is forced to watch as a doctor literally pulls the skin off of their face and over their head as they attempt to stretch out their sagging skin but at least it will make your rich grandmother’s stories about her latest operation way more interesting.

2. Darth Vader’s ICU Suit from “Star Wars: Episode III”

Normally, someone who is as injured as Anakin Skywalker is at the end of the third (and thankfully final) “Star Wars” prequel would be written off at having any chance of living any kind of life outside of a hospital’s burn unit, even if they can make things move and choke doctors by squeezing their windpipe with their mind.

The distant world of the “Star Wars” universe has all sorts of interesting medical gadgets and robotic surgical technologists that could make any medical office a much easier place to work, but Darth Vader’s infamous suit adds an extreme bit of coolness. It not only completely maintains a person’s necessary functions even after experiencing the most painful and debilitating injuries, but it carries an extra air of fearsome intensity that can make even the most burly of college linebackers shake in fear down to their wimpy orthopedic shoulder pads.

3. The surgery machine from “Nightflyers”

The most dangerous part of any operation is surgical error. In fact, it’s become such a reoccurring problem that robotic replacements have stepped in to cut down on the probability of medical error in the OR.

Science fiction has the same mindset, although usually when robots enter the picture, they tend to go in the opposite direction, running amok and slicing up innocents whether they have something that needs to be removed or not. One of the few exceptions is from this cult sci-fi film that features a robotic machine that does the work of a surgeon, specifically replacing severed limbs with the magic of lasers.

4. McCoy’s bloodless surgical device from “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home”

Brain surgery doesn’t just require a deep knowledge of the human mind and years of preparation and experience. It also requires an extremely steady hand.

Dr. McCoy’s famous bag of medical tricks could easily solve that, particularly the one he uses to save Chekov from a severe brain hemorrhage. Instead of letting some 20th century doctor drill a hole through his skull to drain the fluid that’s causing his entire brain to shut down, McCoy uses some kind of futuristic space thingy to rebuild the artery without to put a single hole in the guy like a freshly carved bowling ball.

5. Complete face transplants from “Face/Off”

Face transplantation isn’t exactly science fiction since doctors have performed one of the first such operations on a woman who was badly mauled by a chimpanzee in 2009.

Of course, it’s a long way from being fully replicated to the point where patients can pick and choose the face they want and literally become a whole new person the way that Nicholas Cage and John Travolta do in this over-the-top action epic. If the medical world were to pick up on this amazing procedure, they’d also have to provide their patients with more acting lessons than the ones the doctors did in this film.


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