Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Yesterday I scrubbed into my first surgery. It was very neat--it was an ileocecal resection on a patient with Crohns disease (an inflammatory bowel disease). Basically, the surgeon removed about a 20cm section of small bowel. I got to the OR late (because I thought the resident was going to get me when it was time and she assumed that I knew how and when to go down there) and they had already opened, but once I got there I got to scrub in and gown up. My main job was to hold back organs with retractors and to suction any intestinal contents that emerged from the severed small bowel. It was really interesting, although I have no idea how the surgeon distinguishes what parts of the bowel are where. At the end they let me suture up half of the incision with a subcuticular suture (one sutures side to side so that the suture never comes above the skin and is thus not visible) which I had fortunately learned how to do on a pig's foot that morning in our suture lab. I really enjoyed being in the OR, it made up for the all the confusion involved with this rotation (ie feeling like everyone expects you to telepathically figure out where to be and what to do, although I'm sure that feeling which will ease in another week or so). I can see myself wanting to do this as a career.

I went to bed at 8:30 last night, and had to get up at 4:00. It was darker when I left the house than when I went to bed. I pre-rounded on the patient I had been in surgery with, rounded with the residents, then had lecture from 7:00 to 5:00. Fortunately there was nothing to do afterwards. Tomorrow I again have to get up at 4:00, but the other two students will go to the scheduled surgeries (there are far less than I expected, I thought we would all be in the OR most of the day which is not the case) and I'm not sure if there is clinic so I will probably be doing a lot of reading (for some reason it's called "reading" from third year on instead of "studying"), hopefully I'll be able to go home early. I really hate just sitting around with nothing to do that I can't do (more comfortably) at home. Tonight I have Bible study, which means I won't get to sleep until late--hopefully I'll be able to crawl out of bed when my alarm goes off.


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