The rest of my week in the Operating Room

What's up bloggers? I've got a few stories from yesterday in the OR:


Thursday

So I had my second last day of Surgery today and it was absolutely amazing. The day started off very slow, as my alarm didn’t go off, and all my laundry was dirty, but after running to the hospital and changing into my scrubs, everything seemed to get better from there. We started off the day just observing a series of minor procedures through the OR doors, as none of us really wanted to go in. We then got the chance to check out a thyroidectomy, a partial excision of an enlarged thyroid and lymph nodes, and a femur fracture.

The femur fracture was by far the most fun, while the neck lump excision was the most intense. Because of the location of the tumors in the patient’s neck, you could see many things like the carotid artery, and the patient’s left sternocleidomastoids, which I was pretty impressed by. There was an incredible amount of bleeding, sometimes to the point where the surgeon would swear in English. With the fracture, I was super close to the table, and at one point I had to leave the OR. I was watching very closesly, and loving all of it. I could see the dissection close up hand, and eventually we got through the muscle and down to the bone, where it was a clean fracture. The doctor used clamps to place both bones back together before getting the metal plate; unfortunately I left because there was blood squirting everywhere, and I had not been provided with safety glasses. One of the nurse informed me that they were for scrub staff only, so I decided to just avoid that OR and check out another one.

Later on in the day I watched my favorite surgery so far. We were strolling around, checking the board, and discovered that there was a procedure in OR 4 that was not listed on the board. We asked around, and discovered that it was an emergency surgery. After being invited in, the neurosurgeon came over and explained the case to us, which was incredibly nice. It was a male patient who had a motorcycle accident – he had a subarachnoid bleed, and they took scans / thought nothing of it two weeks ago. He came in today with headaches, blurred vision and nausea, so they took another scan, and discovered that his ventricles were huge. Because of the subarachnoid bleed, the blood had clotted the flow of CSF, and the choroid plexus kept producing more and more, increasing his CSFP. They needed to drill into his skull and install a shunt to drain the excess CSF into his abdomen.
I was super excited, because I’ve read about these surgeries, but have not yet experienced one first hand. It was fantastic. First they opened his abdomen and his skull at the same time, as the neurosurgeon used the drill to get through his skull. Once he was in there, he drained some of the CSF, and he invited me close so I could see it squirting out through the tube with a lot of pressure, pulsing to his heart rate. He then made a subcutaneous incision along the skull, and got a large metal rod from a sterile package (about a meter in length). He then took the rod, and put it in the patient’s skull, and fed it (under the patient’s skin) through his head, neck, thorax, and down into his abdomen. This would be the guidewire to bring the tube, but it was the coolest thing I’ve seen. After trying to get the tube through once, and the proline snapping, the tried again with great success. They installed a subarachnoid pump mechanism (a one way valve / pump that can be operated by pushing on the patient’s skull) and hooked it up to the abdomen draining tube before closing him up.

I asked when they would take it out, and was informed that it was there for life. Awesome stuff, best surgery so far. 

Can anyone guess what this is?

More updates soon - I promise. Including a Christmas one when I get my elephant pictures back!

Life's too short... Travel the World!: The rest of my week in the Operating Room

Friday, 28 December 2012

The rest of my week in the Operating Room

What's up bloggers? I've got a few stories from yesterday in the OR:


Thursday

So I had my second last day of Surgery today and it was absolutely amazing. The day started off very slow, as my alarm didn’t go off, and all my laundry was dirty, but after running to the hospital and changing into my scrubs, everything seemed to get better from there. We started off the day just observing a series of minor procedures through the OR doors, as none of us really wanted to go in. We then got the chance to check out a thyroidectomy, a partial excision of an enlarged thyroid and lymph nodes, and a femur fracture.

The femur fracture was by far the most fun, while the neck lump excision was the most intense. Because of the location of the tumors in the patient’s neck, you could see many things like the carotid artery, and the patient’s left sternocleidomastoids, which I was pretty impressed by. There was an incredible amount of bleeding, sometimes to the point where the surgeon would swear in English. With the fracture, I was super close to the table, and at one point I had to leave the OR. I was watching very closesly, and loving all of it. I could see the dissection close up hand, and eventually we got through the muscle and down to the bone, where it was a clean fracture. The doctor used clamps to place both bones back together before getting the metal plate; unfortunately I left because there was blood squirting everywhere, and I had not been provided with safety glasses. One of the nurse informed me that they were for scrub staff only, so I decided to just avoid that OR and check out another one.

Later on in the day I watched my favorite surgery so far. We were strolling around, checking the board, and discovered that there was a procedure in OR 4 that was not listed on the board. We asked around, and discovered that it was an emergency surgery. After being invited in, the neurosurgeon came over and explained the case to us, which was incredibly nice. It was a male patient who had a motorcycle accident – he had a subarachnoid bleed, and they took scans / thought nothing of it two weeks ago. He came in today with headaches, blurred vision and nausea, so they took another scan, and discovered that his ventricles were huge. Because of the subarachnoid bleed, the blood had clotted the flow of CSF, and the choroid plexus kept producing more and more, increasing his CSFP. They needed to drill into his skull and install a shunt to drain the excess CSF into his abdomen.
I was super excited, because I’ve read about these surgeries, but have not yet experienced one first hand. It was fantastic. First they opened his abdomen and his skull at the same time, as the neurosurgeon used the drill to get through his skull. Once he was in there, he drained some of the CSF, and he invited me close so I could see it squirting out through the tube with a lot of pressure, pulsing to his heart rate. He then made a subcutaneous incision along the skull, and got a large metal rod from a sterile package (about a meter in length). He then took the rod, and put it in the patient’s skull, and fed it (under the patient’s skin) through his head, neck, thorax, and down into his abdomen. This would be the guidewire to bring the tube, but it was the coolest thing I’ve seen. After trying to get the tube through once, and the proline snapping, the tried again with great success. They installed a subarachnoid pump mechanism (a one way valve / pump that can be operated by pushing on the patient’s skull) and hooked it up to the abdomen draining tube before closing him up.

I asked when they would take it out, and was informed that it was there for life. Awesome stuff, best surgery so far. 

Can anyone guess what this is?

More updates soon - I promise. Including a Christmas one when I get my elephant pictures back!