Antarctica, 1961. Dr. Leonid Rogozov is there as part of a small team of Russian researchers. One day he starts to feel pain in his abdomen, and he’s weak and nauseous. He diagnoses himself with acute appendicitis.
Surgery is necessary for him to get better. Problem is, there is nowhere for him to have the surgery done. The nearest surgical centers are too far given time and transportation constraints.
So he decides to have surgery in a room of the research facility.
Under local anesthesia and with assistance from a surgical team of a driver and a meteorologist and a man who serves as backup just in case one of the first two pass out, the doc proceeds to remove his own appendix.
He takes short breaks during the surgery to deal with nausea and vomiting and stress. But after an hour and forty five minutes, he’s done. His close to bursting appendix is out.
The good doc would recover well and go on to live a long, healthy life.