10 Of The Most Innovative Procedures On ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ (So Far)

We know that Grey’s Anatomy is always showcasing some pretty crazy cases, but they’ve also covered a number of creatively innovative surgeries, as well. On last week’s episode, “Everyday Angel," Alex and Jackson performed surgery on a little boy with bony growths on his scapula. Upon discovering that the growths were cancerous, they came up with a way to let the little boy continue on with his adventurous childhood. In an effort to not leave him with either the death sentence of cancer or the loss of both of his shoulders’ mobility, they removed the scapulas, performed radiation therapy on them, and then replaced them back into the body cancer free. This might be the coolest surgery they’ve done yet, but it’s far from the only one to make the cut. Here’s a list, in no particular order, of nine other incredible procedures showcased on Grey’s.

When they built a little boy a set of ears from scratch (pro bono!)

In season 4's Halloween episode Ryan, the son of one of the hospital's employees went trick-or-treating for a set of ears. 

When Meredith gave Megan a full abdominal wall transplant

Struck with the idea after Alex tells her to stop picking at the wall in her bedroom, lest they need to replace the whole thing, Meredith successfully performs the fourth ever abdominal wall transplant.

When baby Tyler was born with an encephalocele in the middle of his face

Usually encephalocele​s contain brain matter, but Tyler's did not. The doctors were able to remove the growth, reconstruct his skull and leave Tyler with nothing but a tiny scar on his forehead. 

When a machine was used to keep a woman alive without her heart

Kelsey had a pseudoaneurysm along the suture line of her transplanted heart, making it useless. They removed her heart and used a machine to circulate her blood for her, keeping her alive just long enough to find a new match. 

When Jo used Webber’s Path Pen to save a man's quality of life (BTW, it's a real thing!)

In surgery with Meredith, Jo is struggling with whether or not remove a man's entire stomach, causing him to eat through a tube for the rest of his life or take half of the stomach and risk leaving Cancer behind. She uses Webber's Path Pen and determines that she can save half of his stomach. 

When Derek removed half of a little girl’s brain

When they noticed their daughter's foot twitching, a couple took her to a neighboring hospital where they discovered a brain abnormality which turned out to be Rasmussen's Encephalitis. Half of Jamie's brain was dead, and Derek removed it with the expectation of a full recovery. 

When Callie created a new leg for a homeless man

While sleeping in a dumpster, a garbage truck came, lifted the dumpster and threw everything in it, along with the homeless man—resulting in him getting crushed. His leg was stuck in his chest and he didn't want to live if he couldn't walk again. Unfortunately he died in surgery, but not before Callie had constructed a brand new leg for him. 

When they used therapeutic hypothermia to help a man regain feeling in his legs

After a car accident left Phillip with a crushed spine, Derek was not confident that he would ever walk again. Owen suggested therapeutic hypothermia, Callie did the research, and after cooling him down and rewarming him, Phillip was able to move his toes. 

Meredith and Derek's clinical trial

Meredith came up with the idea to treat inoperable brain tumors by injecting them with a virus targeted specifically to the tumor. After 12 unsuccessful attempts, they perfected the formula with their final patient, Beth, leading to the publication of the Shepherd Method.