Well, I watched 6 hours of it anyways. They had just transferred the liver when I left.
Woah, talk about invasive surgery.
I got to hold a gall bladder. When I squeezed it, all the bile came out. I was not able to hold the transfer liver. But I could poke the cirrhosis-ed liver. I saw my first portal vein, first stomach, first spleen, first intestines and first hernia. All of that was super neat.
You know how you keep a patient alive while they don't have a liver? You hook them up to this machine that acts like their liver, cleans all their blood outside of their body and then returns it through a vein back to the body.
And the surgeons! Incredibly smart, talented and focused. All 7 of them.
But, and you knew there was a but. Since when did it become cool to completely neglect your basic needs as a physician, in favor of 8 or 9 hour surgeries? Maybe it has always been cool, and this was the first time I saw it in action?
We went into the surgery at 9, and by 2:30, I was REALLY hungry. And the scrub nurse and circulating nurse laughed and said, "You'll get used to not eating." Mmm....no....no, I don't think I will. See, I need food TO LIVE. It's especially bad when you consider that I lift weights regularly, so my metabolism is a bit amped up. I get fairly uncoordinated without food. By 2pm, I had a raging headache from not drinking any water for 6 hours, and I'm pretty certain I would have given up with those fine veins and arteries left over in the donor abdominal cavity. Props to the surgeons that completed that surgery and stitched the patient up.
|OMG, food, nom nom nom|
So maybe I'm not cut out to be a long-surgery type person. I mean, as the patient, I wouldn't want my surgeon to leave and eat some lunch while I'm lying open on the table. Well, unless they are a diabetic or something. What do diabetic surgeons do? Maybe they just don't exist.
There are still short surgeries. And maybe that is better anyways. I'm not a fan of getting a call at 3am in the morning that a liver has become available. On my way to an 8 hour surgery with no food or water, woot!
I guess I'm not hard core enough to be a crazy cool surgeon like the ones I observed.
But that's alright. There are lots of other fish in the sea. Maybe I am more cut out for medicine. Third year is going to be really interesting.
Anyways, I have plenty of time, so I'm not worried. I'm just surprised that the live donor liver transplant and what has to be one of the coolest surgeries in the world turned me off from surgery a bit.
Protip: Introduce yourself to the circulating nurse whenever you enter an OR for the first time. They really liked that.