Surgery – Day 7

I got to see a kidney transplant today. Truly one of the most amazing things I’ve seen in medical school so far, maybe after delivery of a human baby. The transplant surgery was everything I imagine when I think of surgery. High precision, high stakes, anatomical engineering. We took a kidney procured from a deceased person off ice, hooked up all the plumbing (artery, vein, ureter) to appropriate, but not identical vessels in the body of a totally different person, in a place that was not originally intended to house a kidney, let the blood of this person flow into it, and all of a sudden this kidney, that was once in a pale stasis, is all of a sudden red with life and a pulse that is in sync with it’s new owner.

Also all the surgeons I worked with today were super nice, and they aren’t even on my service. The 1st year fellow who had the misfortune of having to close the patient with me was very patient in helping me with my suturing, guiding me and letting me take my time instead of rushing me or just taking over.

Also I saw a robotic surgery today (liver resection). The technology is super cool and it was very sci-fi to watch these weird arm things plugged into someone’s belly, manipulating things inside. Also the thing that the surgeons look through allow them to see inside the person abdomen in 3D which was also amazing. But being a bystander to the surgery was pretty boring. Just basically watching organs get manipulated and cut and pinched and burned for the time equivalent of viewing the Return of the King extended edition.

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