Saturday, July 2, 2016

The definition of minor surgery is surgery that is happening to someone else.



I don't have to be at work quite so early today, so I've had the luxury of playing musical instruments, reading, and watching a little TV. Falling asleep quickly is an art I haven't quite mastered, but I've been so exhausted from the 13.5-hour workdays beginning early in the day that most days this week I've been lucky to have made  it home without having falling asleep on the five-minute drive to my condo. Having yesterday and today to catch up on sleep has been like a gift.

I've scrubbed in for a lot of surgeries this week. The surgeries I've seen thus fafr have been abdominal surgeries. Most of what I'll see in this rotation will be abdominal and lower thoracic surgeries, though I'll have a  week each of cardiac and neurosurgical procedures. If I'm interested in more, I'll need to request elective rotations in those sub-specialties.

I scrubbed in for a procedure that I won't see much of in this rotation, which was a c-section. C-sections are normally performed in the surgical suites in the maternity wing, but all four were in use when membranes ruptured in an expectant mother of twins with placenta previa. The OB-GYN wanted to get the babies out sooner rather than later. The babies (boys) were big as twins go - 6 lbs, 3 oz. and 6 lbs.10 oz. They were in separate sacs, which could mean dizygotic (fraternal) or monozygotic (the OB-GYn predicted monozygotic or identical, but said it would take further testing to determine with certainty) and have the same blood types. The delivery proceeded with no complications. I would have liked to have followed one of the babies, but the intern supervising me wanted me to see the entire surgical procedure. When I have my OB-GYN rotation in a few months, I'll get to see lots of deliveries and will have opportunities to follow the babies as they are evaluated. 

Personnel in surgery risk being sprayed or dripped on with every body fluid. I wear goggles even if I'm told there's no chance of being near enough to be doused, because there's never any guarantee of not being hit; the human body has amazing ability when it comes to expelling body fluids. I put double plastic bags over my shoes before covering them with surgical booties because I know too many people who have had perfectly good shoes ruined. It's not even the expense of replacing shoes that would bother me; I don't have the time to buy more.


7 comments:

  1. Sounds like an interesting and exhausting day. I once observed a veterinary surgery and almost fainted in the middle of it.

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    1. For whatever reason, I suspect I'd be more bothered by a veterinary surgery than by a human one.

      Before I started this rotation, I had already witnessed two surgeries - two c-sections and a pediatric laparotomy for a twisted bowel. Having seen those even if from a greater distance helped me to be a bit less grossed out this past week.

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    2. That would technically be three surgeries, I suppose.

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    3. I was actually helping the vet. I worked as a kennel tech and was holding something on the dog's head when he suddenly woke up and jumped off the table. Another vet was working on another table, spaying a chihuahua. I got really light-headed and had to go sit down.

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    4. When I watched my first Caesarean, the bloodiness of it got to me a bit.

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