Monday, April 27, 2009

Really wishing my Japanese was better...

As mentioned a couple of times previously, I'm currently watching a Japanese medical drama called "Godhand Teru" on TV. The first two episodes I watched, I thought "Well, I'll just keep watching because I like Hiraoka Yuta" (the lead actor).

This week's episode (episode 3), though, was pretty interesting, and it really made me wish my Japanese and/or medical knowledge was better.

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Not that I think anyone reading this is likely to care, but just to be safe...

**SPOILER WARNING**

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So yeah, the central plot of this week's episode was that the ace pitcher from the last Koshien tournament (the BIGGEST deal in Japanese high school baseball, and followed widely across the country) had fibrosarcoma in his right thumb and the doctor in charge of his case--a highly skilled young surgeon completely antagonistic towards Teru and his bumbling--advised that the only way to deal with it was to amputate his thumb. Of course, doing so would also put an end to his dreams of a future in baseball.

Teru wanted to find a way to deal with the tumor that would allow the patient to continue playing baseball. Despite much research and agonizing, the scheduled surgery date came and it seemed like there was no other way but to amputate when Teru's desire to protect the boy's dreams for the future enabled him to enter "god hand" (i.e. genius surgeon) mode and he came up with autotransplantation as a solution...

And that's where I couldn't really follow the specifics. In the closing scenes, they showed the boy with his right thumb sewn into his side and they explained that it was being naturally healed inside his body, but I can't figure out how it works, specifically. I mean, I get the general idea (from the show and from a cursory web search on "autotransplantation"), but it bugs me that I can't get a logical picture of the theory/process in my head.

Any med people who can help me out with this?

[Edit May 27, '09: Watched the fansub and learned that what happened was they cut open his thumb and extracted all the affected cells. Only by making sure they removed every bit of tumorous flesh could they be sure it wouldn't spread to other parts of his body. While they were removing the tumorous cells, they discovered it had spread to his tendon. So that's when Teru had to go into "god hand" mode (again) to cut away only the tumorous parts (very difficult) from the tendon. Then they sewed his thumb into his abdomen because there are a lot of fat and blood vessels to aid self-healing--that's the autotransplantation, transferring fat tissue from his abdomen to his thumb.]

4 comments:

grĂ¥ce said...

That is the weirdest plot ever.... it's with live actors right?

exitghost said...

First of all, cute blog! I'm gonna enjoy reading more of your time in Japan!

Second, whoa! That sounds like one interesting show!

Presea said...

Yep, live action. It's pretty over the top, really, with all sorts of unnecessary computer graphics showing the medical stuff (internal organs, etc.), but I enjoy it anyway.

Priya said...

waaah! that's EXACTLY what i thought when i saw the 3rd ep.
i don't get how his thumb in his abdomen could help him...couldnt they just graft a toe on to his thumb or something?