The way to a surgeons heart…

…is through his plush guts, as Liz Ditz tells me:


I particularly like the plush pancreas, even though I haven’t done pancreatic surgery on a regular basis since the 1990s. I’m a little confused, though, about why the plush gallbladder is purple instead of green. Surgeons really, really hate to see purple gallbladders, because the only purple gallbladder is a dead or dying gallbladder. (OK, necrotic gallbladders are usually greenish black, but they can look purplish in some areas.) I’m also a bit puzzled by the choice of yellow for the liver, given that the liver is reddish-brown. But, hey, I’m willing to go with it. Too bad the plush organs are at $130 for the set–rather pricey for what they actually are.

On the other hand, I rather like the pancreas T-shirt/plush toy combo (a.k.a. Gutsy Gift Pack) with the slogan “Gimme some sugar.” But, then, I always did like Ash.


  1. #1 DLC
    September 6, 2008

    Hmm.. plush guts. isn’t there also a plush microbes line out there ?

  2. #2 DLC
    September 6, 2008

    Oh, and.. . “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”
    “No.. it’s through the gap between the fourth and fifth ribs.”

  3. #3 Andrew
    September 6, 2008

    The microbes are at of course.

  4. #4 Liz Ditz
    September 6, 2008

    Thanks for the shout-out, Orac. Credit is due: I read about the plushies at Bryan Vartabedian, M.D.’s blog. Vartabedian is a pediatric gastroenterologist and the author of Colic Solved and First Foods. He’s also a vaccine supporter.

  5. #5 Phillip IV
    September 6, 2008

    Lungs, brain, liver…I think I have most of those already. But perhaps I should buy a heart, having a spare heart could come in handy someday.

    Oh, and an uterus, I always wanted to know what’s it like to have one of those…

  6. #6 Barn Owl
    September 6, 2008

    The uterus looks as if it’s dancing, with castanets in its “hands” (fimbriae, of course). Carmen Endometrium, if you will.

  7. #7 Dan Hocson
    September 6, 2008

    The patient was obviously suffering from a wicked case of fatty liver.

    And I agree that $130 is way to high. Cut it in half, and I’ll place my order pronto.

  8. #8 Gray Falcon
    September 6, 2008

    Ah, giant microbes. I remember when at Christmas, one of my aunts, a biologist, got the cutest white prion with black cow spots. “Mad Cow Disease”, I believe. They didn’t even know about prions when she was in college.

  9. #9 D. C. Sessions
    September 6, 2008

    $130? Peanuts, with all the filthy lucre you get for shilling Big Pharma.

    Just demand a set as a bonus along with the usual check this month.

  10. #10 wondering
    September 6, 2008

    I wonder if it would help the antivax cranks on Age of Autism if we bought them each a brain.

  11. #11 blf
    September 6, 2008

    I wonder if it would help the antivax cranks on Age of Autism if we bought them each a brain.

    The problem is the installation. Opening up their heads is risky due to the implosion from the near-perfect vacuum. Sometimes you find one that’s leaked, and will have to clean out the spiders and whatnots.

    Securing the new brain in the skull is also a bit tricky. Unless done with considerable care, bits pop out of the ears and eyes and nose and so on. The current method is to use lots of nails and advise the patient to not fly (airport metal detectors and all that), but I understand a certain cretinist brain surgeon is advocating the use of prayer.

    Not much maintenance is needed. Just an occasional wash. Hot soapy water, and hang to dry in the sun.

  12. #12 D. C. Sessions
    September 6, 2008

    I wonder if it would help the antivax cranks on Age of Autism if we bought them each a brain.

    Would that be, like, plushie abuse? I’ve never seen a plusie rot before, though, so it might be interesting.

  13. #13 cytia
    September 6, 2008

    There is more ! From physics freaks department 😉
    plush particles
    – of course we got some too :).

  14. #14 HCN
    September 6, 2008

    Thanks, cytia! I sent the link to my son who wants to minor in physics (and major in engineering).

  15. #15 Uncle Dave
    September 6, 2008

    I’m cracking up. Obviously an MD blog. I could only recognize 5 of the plush organs; heart, kidney, lungs and liver, and of course the dancing uterus.

    This is your uterus. This is your uterus stuffed.
    Any questions?

  16. #16 D. C. Sessions
    September 6, 2008

  17. #17 D. C. Sessions
    September 6, 2008

    I sent the link to my son who wants to minor in physics (and major in engineering).

    Having done both, and with sons doing both, I’d suggest the other way ’round — but it really depends on what he really loves.

    I’m also curious where, but one way or t’other if you’d rather I’d be delighted to chat off-board. You know how to find me.

  18. #18 CCC - Cath the Canberra Cook
    September 6, 2008

    I’m guessing the liver is yellow
    a) for variety and
    b) for jaundice.

  19. #19 Keenacat
    September 7, 2008

    The uterus is so cute!! But way to expensive (and hard to get I guess, since I live in germany).
    But at least I call one of the giant microbes mine, it’s the eppstein-barr-virus. She’s so cuddly, sitting on top of my (pretty old) computer monitor and brightening up my day. I got her from my boyfriend, but luckily I avoided the original.

    But I’m puzzled by the yellow liver… It shouldn’t be smiling. A weeping yellow liver would have been consistent.

  20. #20 D. C. Sessions
    September 7, 2008

    The uterus is so cute!! But way to expensive (and hard to get I guess, since I live in germany).

    Well, actually for approximately half of us they’re standard equipment. For the other half, they can be very expensive and/or hard to get.

  21. #21 kristina
    September 7, 2008

    That’s for a plush brain and you even pin notes to it.

    (Though if it were given to certain Merc Militia types, they might be wary of pinning anything to it—-too many bad feelings about vaccines.)

    As for Orac, I think he is more deserving of Big Brain:

  22. #22 Keenacat
    September 8, 2008

    I actually own an uterus, but I fear it’s not quite as cuddly as its plushy equivalent.
    Needless to say it can’t sit on my computer monitor either.

    Maybe I’ll sew some plush guts by myself. There are some lovely physicians-to-be who deserve a special treat for christmas.

  23. #23 Grep Agni
    September 8, 2008

    These do seem expensive, but as one who has worked at a small manufacturer, I can assure you that short runs are insanely expensive to produce. I don’t know anything about this company, but I could easily believe that the price is in line with the manufacturing cost.

  24. #24 Dr Aust
    September 8, 2008

    We pancreases (pancreata…?) are about more than just insulin, y’know. What about digestive juices…? Enzymes and bicarbonate? It’s not just about those publicity- (sugar?) hungry Beta-cells…

  25. #25 DuWayne
    September 8, 2008

    I love it. Way out of my range, but I can’t tell you how amusing it would be to get the nine month old a plush uterus to snuggle as he goes to sleep at night.

    I could go for a plush lung, but given my smoking, it would be rather effective if it were kinda brownish/blackish and a little shriveled. Possibly more effective than the picture of a smoker’s lung I keep with my tobacco and have to look at whenever I smoke.

  26. #26 Liesele
    September 9, 2008

    You need a Teddy the Tummy! (go to “gift store” and take a look–the page won’t link directly)

  27. #27 Gray Lensman
    September 10, 2008

    As the former owner of a purplish-blackish gallbladder, I can understand this one. In post op, the whole surgical team came in to award me the “gallbladder of the year” award. Nasty looking thing. (The gallbladder, not the team).

  28. #28 Monado
    October 8, 2008

    Someone I knew used to have a button that read ” …is with a broadsword.”

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