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.
Welcome to the club. I also particularly enjoy the smell of polymethylmetacrylate (bone cement) in the morning.
And what a great club it is!
“You can find me in the club, bottle full of formaldehyde” ;)
when my prof used to come into theater if he smelt cautery he used to give us hell. he claimed that if you can smell it you are doing it wrong. of course he was wrong