A creative physician mother celebrated her son’s fourth birthday this week by recreating a playdough c-section surgery with him—and their surgical skills are going viral.
The creative mom says she is a board-certified dermatologist, who prefers to be identified by her social media handle, The Breakfasteur, painstakingly recreated all the layers of a pregnant patient’s abdomen for their surgery.
If you’re wondering what happens during a C-section, the video is fascinating to watch, both for the creative playdough details and for the doctor’s calm and kid-friendly surgical narration.
“We’re going to start by making a transverse incision on the lower part of the belly,” she says, before her son takes control of the plastic scalpel.
The pair work together, cutting through layers of skin, tissue, and muscle, before revealing the uterus.
“It’s going to be wet,” her son says, as they open the uterus. He excitedly calls for “suction” before using a NoseFrida to remove the amniotic fluid from their patient.
From there, the mother-son duo help bring their newest patient into the world—a Spiderman stuffed toy. The surgery’s not over, though. They clamp and cut the umbilical cord and deliver the placenta before calling it a wrap.
Their flawless delivery is going viral, with people from all over the world sending their appreciation for the attention to detail and technique in this one-of-a-kind playdough surgery.
“We love these videos,” one woman commented on Instagram. “My 3 year old daughter is so curious about anything human anatomy/medical related. We’re big fans.”
“Perfect Caesarean section,” wrote a practicing gynecologist. “Sending my trainees to you “
This is not the first playdough surgery for the mother and son team. They first picked up the plastic scalpel together back in June, when they tackled a gallbladder removal together. The Breakfasteur said her son loved it so much, they reset and did it six times that day.
Since then, they’ve taken on procedures like a thyroidectomy, a kidney transplant, whipple procedure, and a hernia repair.
“We are ‘one hit wonders’ with the playdough surgeries,” she explains on Instagram. “What you see is the first (and only) time we’ve done that particular procedure. I am often tempted to redo a case so it runs more smoothly — an anastomosed vessel doesn’t fall off before closing, the stuffed monkey slides out effortlessly, or yes, the stem doesn’t go in anteverted — but while the small errors make me cringe, the unscripted imperfections are what makes them true to our experience and fun for us.”
The Breakfasteur says the surgeries would probably be easier for her to stage if her son was more interested in dermatology, her area of expertise.
“His interests drive this, so yes, I’m studying each week like I’m about to take a shelf exam,” she jokes.
Though the surgeries started as a way for one mom to share her career and knowledge with her son, they’ve taken on a life of their own as teaching tools for parents, medical professionals, and educators.
“I have to say I’ve been very surprised by the response we’ve received,” The Breakfasteur told Motherly, “but my favorite comments are those from parents and educators telling me that our videos have ignited an interest in learning about the human body in kids of all ages. I also love hearing that the videos have helped doctor parents connect with their kids about their work.”
“It’s exciting to be able to showcase some of the coolest jobs in the world – inspiring kids to ask questions, love learning, work hard, and chase their dreams.”
A version of this post was published November 23, 2020. It has been updated.