Friday, January 12, 2007

What drugs will not cure, the knife will (Hippocrates)

There is something amazingly satisfying about surgery. Oh, the operations themselves are pretty darn cool, but the happy gut feeling goes beyond that obsession. You see a patient, determine a problem, and fix it. Ok, so sometimes is a heck of a lot more complicated than that, even a lowly Med3 can figure that one out, but the gist of it can be that straightforward. Take today: a very nice well mannered lady came to BigWhig Hospital cursing and screaming at the top of her lungs. Not that I know her well, but I’m fairly confident that this isn’t her normal behavior. She had an acute distended abdomen. It was bloated, could be played like a drum, warm, and just plain wrong looking. Not to mention that she was writhing in pain just from breathing. Added to that the CT scan was just plain ugly. Now, not to long ago (ok the measurement would be more closely related to centuries than decades) this lady would have been toast with jam. Today, she gets some happy meds and is rushed back to the OR~ much to the ire of the surgeon who got rescheduled~ and waddya know: her problem could be fixed! Although, I have to admit that her insides looked almost as knarly as her outsides. She’d had a perforation of a diverticula in the sigmoid colon. Brown alert all the way! But at the end of the surgery, her problem is fixed. Yeah, she’s going to have to get through a fairly tortuous course of post surgical recovery and has a super high infection risk, but still she’s fixed.

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