Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Well, here's something new: Play-Doh surgery videos

Illustration for article titled Well, here's something new: Play-Doh surgery videos
Screenshot: The Breakfasteur

The human body is complex and the modern medical techniques used to keep it in working order are so sophisticated that they often seem miraculous. Those techniques are also extremely fucking gross, which is why we simplify our disgusting organs into cute little symbols of love and abstract the horrors of surgery into network TV cadaver cakes and children’s boardgames about just how easy it is to accidentally kill someone undergoing an operation.


Following in this grand tradition of trying to de-nastify the gnarly stuff surgeons do to us, a doctor and mom who goes by The Breakfasteur on YouTube has been showing her son how to perform complicated procedures by using Play-Doh body parts.

The Breakfasteur’s recent video of a Play-Doh cesarean has been generating a lot of interest, and for good reason. The description explains that the video series’ ever present surgical assistant had just turned four and, to mark the occasion, his mom showed him how to deliver a baby via C-section using lumps of dough. A pair of hands that make Doogie Howser’s seem gnarled and old in comparison enter the frame while a voice reminds the child doctor to pinch the Play-Doh stomach to “make sure the anesthesia worked.” The kid then makes “a transverse incision,” pulls apart layers of muscles with pudgy little fingers, and giggles with joy as a baby Spider-Man doll is born. Of course, this isn’t just fun and games. The placenta must also be delivered next, and it is.

This video is fascinating, but there are so many other wonderful Play-Doh operations to discover. It’s equally wholesome and horrifying to watch The Breakfasteur teach her son how to, say, do hernia surgery, remove a thyroid or a brain tumor, and perform “coronary artery bypass grafting surgery.”

This four-year old is learning a tremendous amount about how the human body functions, which should give him a big head start if he decides to formally enter the world of medicine at, like, 12 or 13 years old. That’s a great advantage to give a kid, but we can’t help but worry that he’s likely to be disappointed when it comes time to bring his skills into practice. Play-Doh lessons are great and all, but—aside from the disgust he shows when popping simulated cysts—nothing can truly prepare the fledgling doctor for the experience of trying to fix a violently bleeding, maybe-even-screaming-in-terror patient like the real thing.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.