Increasing knowledge, skills and expertise in Otorhinolaryngology, Head & Neck patient care.


Michael Lee

ENT Registrar, Westmead Hospital

TOPIC : A fascinating history of sword swallowing and the development of esophagoscopy and endoscopy

Dr Mick Lee is an ENT Registrar working at Westmead Hospital in Sydney. He is currently an MPhil (Med) candidate at USYD and has a special interest in 3D modelling and tissue engineering and its clinical applications in surgery. He has no personal experience with sword swallowing.

Brief abstract: The history of rigid oesophagoscopy is one of innovation and serendipitous cooperation between a physician and a professional sword swallower. In this presentation, we detail the evolution of the rigid oesophagoscope from its humble origin as an experimental procedure using a hand-hammered iron tube and gas lamp, to the modern endoscopic techniques that it has enabled. We will also hear from a world-record holding sword swallower on his own experiences and the influence of his community on the medical field.