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On the Wards – General Surgery (Day 5)

Well I finally was able to Scrub in on a surgery case. This is one week after my time on the General Surgery service was supposed to start. The case was a morning case with a scheduled start time of 8:45. But we ended up late.

It was an abdominal surgery case so I was excited about what I might get to see. (I am purposely being vague about the details of the case to protect the identity of the patient. I have no idea how many operations were done this morning.) However when I got to the OR, I realized that the surgery would be laparoscopic. So instead of standing over a human body with a large incision, I stood staring at LCD monitors for over two hours.

I counted at least six holes through which either a laparoscopic instrument or camera was inserted. There was only one camera. The third year I’m following got to hold the camera for the last part of the surgery.

I stood quietly trying to stay out of the way. So it was a long morning for me. When the operation was finally over, the surgeon looked at me and told me to stick my finger in one of the holes. Air had been pumped into the abdominal cavity during the surgery. (This provides space for the surgeon to work.) I was then instructed to stick another finger in a second hole. The residents proceeded to suture the other holes while I waited for them to get to mine.

My first time in the OR was definitely not exciting, nor was it something to write home about. But for completeness, I’m blogging about it. And I’m sure I’ve written about more boring things before.

In the afternoon I spent an hour and a half in clinic, but there was nothing outstanding about that.

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  • http://www.medobsession.wordpress.com/ medobsession

    Welcome to a surgery rotation! I must say that the best place to enjoy a surgery rotation is if you can get in at a county hospital. A few times during my first year I took call with the trauma team and was allowed to scrub in and actually drill a hole in one Ortho case, and witness a repair of a AAA. But you are right, there are so many times, even as a third year, where your sole job in the OR is to watch, retract, suction, and be pimped. Then if it goes well the resident will reward you with suturing up at the end. I really enjoyed my surgery rotation, but you definitely have to be patient for those few opportunities to get involved with the case!

  • http://www.medobsession.wordpress.com medobsession

    Welcome to a surgery rotation! I must say that the best place to enjoy a surgery rotation is if you can get in at a county hospital. A few times during my first year I took call with the trauma team and was allowed to scrub in and actually drill a hole in one Ortho case, and witness a repair of a AAA. But you are right, there are so many times, even as a third year, where your sole job in the OR is to watch, retract, suction, and be pimped. Then if it goes well the resident will reward you with suturing up at the end. I really enjoyed my surgery rotation, but you definitely have to be patient for those few opportunities to get involved with the case!

  • http://www.JeffreyMD.com/ Jeff W

    Yeah. My scheduled just didn’t work out. I know a classmate of mine got in on a AAA case. And I missed a few case opportunities due to the freshman OSCE. Oh well… I hope when I go through it again during 3rd year it’ll be more active.

  • http://www.JeffreyMD.com Jeff W

    Yeah. My scheduled just didn’t work out. I know a classmate of mine got in on a AAA case. And I missed a few case opportunities due to the freshman OSCE. Oh well… I hope when I go through it again during 3rd year it’ll be more active.