During these past two weeks I had the opportunity to see three types of surgeries! The first one I saw was a simple mastectomy. It was incredible to see the kind of trust the patient had for Dr. Newman. As the patient was being put under anesthesia Dr. Newman held her hand the entire time. During the surgery, the nurses helping Dr. Newman with the surgery were telling me how quickly Dr. Newman can do mastectomies now that she has been doing them for so long. It was amazing to see how quickly here hands were moving and how in sync the nurses were with her.
The next two surgeries that I saw were performed by a colleague of Dr. Newman’s. The first surgery was just a simple lumpectomy. It was really interesting to see how during the closing of the surgery, the surgeon used multiple layers of stitches to align the skin on the outside perfectly, so the scar would not be as noticeable. The second surgery was a modified radical mastectomy of the left breast and a simple mastectomy of the right breast. This surgery was particularly interesting because the anesthesiologist had somewhat of a difficult time getting the patient to respond to the anesthesia. I was able to ask the anesthesiologist a lot of questions during this time, and because of that experience I think I may even be interested in anesthesiology now.
Because of the complications with anesthesia coupled with the fact that the modified radical mastectomy took much longer than expected, the surgeon was not able to perform the simple mastectomy on the right. There was a concern that doing that procedure would put the patient at increased risk because they would be under anesthesia for an extended period of time.
During the past couple of weeks I’ve come to develop an appreciation for patient-physician interaction and how critical it is to form a trusting relationship, especially in the field of surgery. I’m looking forward to learning a lot more in the weeks to come!