Medical Technology

Anatomical Cookie Cutters Sweeten Medical Coffee Breaks

Thyroid cookie, anyone? Pancreas shortbread?

With the help of gruesomely detailed cookies cutters that depict body parts ranging from the foot to the brain — and every organ between- you can now serve the perfect holiday treat to your medical team.

The cookie cutters that feature 96 medical themes were created by Bakerlogy the UK company.

The recent sugar craze surrounding the unique baking equipment began with a lunchtime tweet from Francesca Ponzini, a second-year medical student at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

She shared a picture of freshly baked pancreas and liver cookies.

After having a bite of the cookies, the author tweeted that “a distal Pancreatectomy had been done, with all margins negative.”

Within minutes of Ponzini’s lunchtime photos, hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB) surgeon Siobhan Mckay, MD, an academic clinical lecturer at the University of Birmingham, UK, tweeted that she had previously used the cookie cutters to create seasonal gifts for her transplant colleagues.

A random sugar lump even offered a typical bile duct (CBD) stone in one cookie, Mckay joked in a follow-up tweet.

“They’re just an enjoyable little thing and no one can be convinced,” Mckay said in an interview. They think you’re a pro because they look so impressive. But they’re actually the easiest thing to accomplish in the world.

The surgical oncologist Andrea Merrill, MD as assistant professor of surgery at the Boston University School of Medicine and collects works of art that meld her “multiple passions” of art, medicine, and baking. She also joined the cookie cutter bandwagon.

“It seemed to resonate with me,” Merrill said of the liver and pancreas cookie cutter. She was awed by the accuracy of the rendition. “It doesn’t have blood vessels and only one pancreatic drain but there are generally at least two.” It’s not 100% exact. It was accurate, however. The bile ducts sounded quite good to me.

Bakerlogy owner Louise Alan said they’ve been creating medical designs since 2015. They’re more difficult than the company’s other products. “Too many details can make the design look cluttered and yet it needs only enough detail to give an accurate representation,” Alan said, noting that the anatomical heart was particularly popular.

Merrill was amazed by the variety of organs on display, but was unsure if she would want to consume some of the items: “There were a lot there that I would not like to eat…like Sperm cookies.”

However, Merrill said, “It’s nice to bring some happiness and a little humor to what we do and the cookie cutters also do this, and let us to…joke around a little bit since we’re mostly dealing with emotional and serious things.”

Mckay was in agreement. If you decide to pick up pancreas cookies dipped in sprinkles, she said: “It not about the stress of the surgery it’s about making everybody normal again, enjoying coffee together.”

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The Medical Progress

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