The Current

Neurosurgeon Henry Marsh reflects on a career probing brains

Dr. Henry Marsh has long been fascinated with the human brain. But the neurosurgeon is well aware of the dangers of brain surgery because he's made mistakes... and he's forthright that doctors aren't in as much control as we may want to believe.
"You have moments of great triumph but the triumphs are only triumphant because you have terrible failures" - Dr. Henry Marsh wants patients to know what it's really like to operate on their brains. (St. Martin’s Press)
I once was operating on the visual area of somebody's brain, that's at the back, and he was watching his own brain on the monitor.But it meant the visual cortex was looking at itself.- Dr. Henry Marsh

Every doctor takes an oath to "Do No Harm."

But very few of them ever wield their scalpels under our scalps. That territory is reserved for the neurosurgeons, who undertake some of the most daunting, risky, and critical operations imaginable on our brains.   

It's an area of medicine that's not that well understood, because the brain itself remains such a mysterious organ.

Dr. Henry Marsh has spent a career operating on it, and he's published a memoir called "Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery." He joined Anna Maria Tremonti from London, England in June of this year.

This segment was produced by The Current's Liz Hoath.