Disturbing

September 5, 2008 § 3 Comments

I had a deeply disturbing sensation this week. It was my first operation after the summer vacation, a splenectomy for lymphoma. Very nice to be back in the OR. Maybe a little too nice.

As I’ve written before, the smell from electrocautery (diathermy) can be very intense and sometimes downright nauseating. I’ve had to take a step back from the operating table many times to get a breath of fresh(er) air.

Well, not this time. I later checked my calendar, and found I hadn’t filmed open surgery since the end of May. June was packed with gastroscopies and biopsies. July and most of August I was away on holiday.

So the other day, when the surgeon started to cut his way below the left ribs, to get to the spleen, and the cautery smoke started to saturate the air, I took a deep breath and thought: “What a nice, familiar smell.” Disturbing indeed.

(photo credit).

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