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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Surgery
Should Medications Be Stopped Before Surgery [posted
Answer: Usually not a big deal. Some worry about
seizures on Serzone, and you might cut it back the week before the surgery. But, I
wouldn't be concerned especially.
Answer: I'm not an orthopedic surgeon, but I have assisted while a medical student with a limited experience. My colleagues tell me that trauma, particularly motorcycle accidents are the most difficult to perform due to the types of fractures and the dirt and foreign bodies in open wounds.
Answer: I have assisted while a medical student and the surgery from the surgeons point of view took about 3 1/2 hours.
Answer: I'm not sure what your question is. Any surgical opening can result in a subsequent hernia. The size varies by the pressure of the abdominal contents and the ability of the abdominal wall to heal. Small bowel obstructions are also sequelae of any abdominal procedure-- about 5-10% of patients will eventually develop adhesions and some bowel obstructions due to surgical procedures.
Answer: This depends completely on the cause of damage to the optic nerve (trauma, inflammation, etc.) and the amount of penetration and avenue of approach to the nerve of trauma.
Answer: This wound sounds like it is healing by granulation. This is a very slow process. It will ensure complete healing, but it takes a long time. Maintaining good calorie intake, avoiding secondary infection, and keeping the area clean are the best methods to maximize the rate of wound healing.
Answer: The skin incision is usually left to the right to aid in healing and avoid scars for swim suits, etc. The actual incision in the uterus can vary and usually has nothing to do with the external scar. Consequently, top to bottom, or left to right, the incision in the uterus is the same. The choice of skin approach is individual and of little consequence.
Answer: Diet doesnt seem to have a lot to do with pseudocysts with the exception of alcohol. Usually pseudocysts are removed if they do not spontaneously resolve over 4-6 months. The cyst will not burst, however, it will cause chronic discomfort and increase the risk for pancreatitis.
Answer: Going into surgery is kind of an
interesting experience. One doesn't perform a major surgery on ones own until late in
surgical residencies. However, first experiences in the Operating Room are lasting
emotionally. Going into the OR is a lot different than the rest of the hospital. There are
a lot of rules about scrubbing your hands, putting on scrubs, gloves, etc. The nurses in
the OR are very particular about sterilization and any deviation from established routine
is a major sin. As a consequence, there is a lot of criticism and observation of young
physicians as they enter the OR to ensure that they don't break any of these
"rules''. This also involves a certain amount of indirect hazing to prove that you
belong. For example, "you didn't wash your hands sufficiently" or "you
broke sterilization -you'll have to leave and regown". Being in masks and gloves is a
little dehumanizing at first. It is also hot! The high intensity lights and the gowns teem
up to a real broiler. In any case, once you have bested the nurses, scrubbed, gowned-now
you enter the realm of the surgeons. Surgeons by nature are probably the most structured
and heirarchal branch of medicine. The chief surgeon does most of the delicate or
difficult surgery, the senior residents assist, the junior residents fight over any small
procedure-like the sutures or closing- and the medical students hold retractors and try to
stand around the edges and look over shoulders to see what is going on. This can be very
difficult in a four to five inch cavity of the body. It is impossible in neurosurgery. The
patient is drapped and really it is difficult to see them as human-part of the draping
process I'm sure. The atmosphere-if everything is going well-is pretty light. Music picked
by the chief surgeon, jokes, medical student hazing. The atmosphere in ER is pretty
accurate-if you ever watch this show. However, if problems arise it gets deadly silent-and
everyone gets progressively nervous. Putting your hands inside a living human during
surgery is really an emotional experience. Seeing a heart beat before your eyes or
repairing a kidney or appendix is one of the special experiences that makes being a
physician such a unique job.
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