Saturday, 29 December 2012

Inside the Operating Theatre

December 29th, Day 12: Last Day of Camp and Farewell Bangalore!

Today we had the camp in Sarjapura, the most rural location out of the three days of camp. We were located in a tall building on the 4th floor which wasn’t the best idea. 

However, Kim, Arveen, and I were lucky enough to get to go to MediHope, a new 6 month old hospital to see some surgeries for the day! Before we left, we managed to get our blood sugar (glucose) levels checked by an IT company here for the camp. It took a long drive to get there so we all fell asleep. 

Right when we arrived, we were already sent to change into scrubs and crocs in order to go into the Operation Theatre. We had to put our hair into a lunch lady like net and wear latex gloves at all times. We were introduced to two surgeons, Dr. Reddy and Dr. Nagesh, who were going to be the operating surgeons today.

First, we saw two excisions of fissures in the vaginal area of two patients. It was pretty scary at first going into the operating room not knowing what to expect. It is quite surreal seeing being in an operating room with surgeons and assistants everywhere. We were so shocked to see the assistants position the patient the way they did and we just saw the vaginal area with such clarity it just opened our eyes to the reality of surgeries etc. I was very proud of us, our reactions and composure. Arveen gloved in on the first one to assist the surgeon, for example by holding areas of the body and looking more closely at what is going on anatomically. The surgeon, Dr. Reddy, was really engaging and explained the whole process as it was going on. Kim and I were standing not far behind to watch. It was quite a big operating room with lots of equipment, but you could tell it was still a new hospital with the way things were arranged. However, the surgeons were very well-trained and just as amazing as any other international surgeons, because med students here get no breaks and survive a very intensive five and a half years of schooling. They all seem to want to practice in America though but just can’t get the visa for it. 

Kim and I went to the next operating room for the 2nd fissure while Arveen stayed behind to see the surgeon suturing up the wound. Kim basically just gloved into this next operation and got to feel around and assist. This operation was a lot cleaner than the first, less blood, and we had a better look at this one because it was only us two observing.  We had lunch with the surgeons before our last operation. We felt like we were surgeons on a lunch break! The food was pretty good, typical north, and south Indian food. 

The last operation, I got to glove in but it had a higher difficulty and care level than the first two. I had to wash my hands and arms almost 5 times in a particular way, then put on another layer of scrubs, the surgery one, and always hold my gloved hands upwards to not contaminate my gloves. This one was with Dr. Nagesh and he was also very very engaging with me. He let me cut the suture wires, hold the scissors and be so up close to the whole procedure it was surreal. I was very focused and observant; it felt amazing to be a part of it. I saw the beginning, from the cut of skin, to the pulling/cutting of the muscle to get the cyst out. I saw the cyst in all its glory with the thick milky pus/liquid that poured out when punctured.  They clean and sterilize the wound with this thin brownish liquid and water, which made the wound area foam into an orange and red thick consistency! It was very vivid. Sometimes, lots of blood would just trickle out from certain cuts. There was a special tool to burn and heal certain wounds, it looked like a little laser. He then did the suturing while I helped cut the wire as he did it. I was so terrified to make the cut of just the wire, that I had to ask HERE about three times before I actually made each cut. All he said was as close to the skin as possible then I didn't have to ask anymore. The wound was then stapled, which could be taken off in about 9 days. Don't worry, the male patient was also put under general anesthesia while the first two were just regional spinal ones. Afterwards we thanked the surgeons for the amazing opportunity, spoke with Dr. Reddy for a while, then left. We also had to say our goodbyes to Dr. Shah and his fiancee today! 

Dr. Reddy

Dr. Shah and his fiancee
Later that evening, we had dinner at the Lion Club president, Mr. Krishna Reddy's house. It was such a nice house and we met a lot of the president's family and friends.  They were so hospitable by giving us so much alcohol we didn’t take, and offering so much food. They’re from Andhra Pradesh which is known for very spicy food. We got to try more Indian sweets, yay!

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