Goooood Morning, Friday… it’s great to see ya! It has been a hot minute since I have done a rotation recap so today I thought I’d share some experiences from my general surgery rotation. We mostly do abdominal surgery, breast surgery, and also some excisions of skin masses. It has kept me busy but I’ve really enjoyed it so far! I like the variety of surgery (office time and OR time) as well as the procedures. Time has really flown by this month and I can’t believe I only have 4 days left!
On a typical morning, I will arrive at the hospital pretty early to pre-round on patients. Usually around 6:45 (yea, it’s rough). I see anyone that we’ve done surgery on that is still in the hospital as well as any new consults (if we’re on call). This means, for example, if someone comes through the ER for something like abdominal pain and the provider thinks it could possibly need surgery, then they request that a surgeon come down and evaluate the patient. Until my surgeon comes by (usually around lunchtime) they get to see me! After I read up on the patient’s chart and evaluate them, I prepare a little oral presentation that I give to my doctor to let her know their status.
3 days out of the week we do surgery… at least. I really like being in the OR and it’s cool to see how the surgical team works together like a well-oiled machine. It’s even better to see how quickly the patients can turn around after surgery and feel so much better. Here are some of the cases I’ve assisted on so far:
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy– Where we take out the gallbladder through the belly button (note: this is the most common surgery performed in the U.S.)
Laparoscopic appendectomy– Same as above but with the appendix.
Umbilical & inguinal hernia repairs– Basically when you get a little hole in your abdominal wall that looks like a bulge. We fix these so they won’t go on to become strangulated (when the bowel gets stuck and there’s loss of blood flow)… that could cause some real problems!
Lumpectomy & sentinel node biopsy– Where we remove a lump/breast cancer tumor out of a breast and biopsy a lymph node to help stage the cancer and see how invasive it is.
Nissen fundoplication– This one’s a surgical treatment for people who have GERD (acid reflux) that has not been helped by medication. The top part of the stomach is wrapped around the esophagus and tightens that sphincter so they won’t have so much acid come back up.
Mass excisions– We’ve cut out lots of benign tumors, masses, and lipomas. Oh, and sebaceous cysts and abscesses of course!
Colonoscopies & EGD– Whether it’s screening or because a patient has symptoms, it’s always good to get a look inside the GI tract and see what’s going on. Colonoscopies are a great way to detect colon caner early or even prevent it by removing pre-cancerous polyps. Prevention is key!
One day this week I also got to hang out with a vascular surgeon and assist with some different types of surgeries. Let me just tell you, diabetes is a horrible thing. It’s sad to see how far it can progress to the point that people lose limbs. Take care of yourself now and always go for those yearly preventative physicals… and I’ll step off my soap box for now!