Tôn Thất Tùng in the Google Doodle: The three most important facts about the liver surgeon

Google regularly honors influential personalities with individual doodles, and those who use the search engine today will see the drawn likeness of Vietnamese liver surgeon Tôn Thất Tùng. This gives a man the stage who is significantly less well-known outside of medical circles than other luminaries. His work was groundbreaking – and the life of Tôn Thất Tùng, who was born in Vietnam in 1912, reflects the colonial history of his home country.

Liver surgery in eight minutes instead of six hours

Physicians may be amazed that Tôn Thất Tùng developed a technique for so-called parenchyma cutting (parenchyma is cell tissue that has a function associated with metabolic processes). He only used his thumb and forefinger. But even laypeople can understand what is one of the great achievements of Tôn Thất Tùng.

The Vietnamese surgeon is responsible for a medical breakthrough that massively accelerated operations on the liver. Instead of taking six hours, they could now be completed in just eight minutes. This “Tôn Thất Tùng” method, in which he tightened the liver veins before the operation, is known to surgeons worldwide. It reduces blood loss and saves many lives.

Tôn Thất Tùng caused the French colonial government to rethink

Beginning in the 19th century and until World War II, Vietnam was a French colony. As a medical student in the capital Hanoi, Tôn Thất Tùng persuaded the French colonial government that local students could also be admitted to inpatient treatment. Until then, Vietnamese students were only allowed to take their exams in the outpatient area. Tôn Thất Tùng was the first Vietnamese student to successfully complete inpatient training.

Ton That Tung behandelte Ho Chi Minh

After World War II, Tôn Thất Tùng’s homeland was divided into North and South Vietnam. The surgeon had meanwhile received his doctorate and was a member of the Viet Minh, the “League for the Independence of Vietnam”, which consisted of nationalist and communist groups. Its most famous representative was the Viet Minh leader and founder Hồ Chí Minh – in whose medical treatment Tôn Thất Tùng was involved.

On May 7, 1982, Tôn Thất Tùng died in Hanoi of a heart attack, a few days before his 70th birthday.

By Editor