Operating Theatre

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July 27th 2012
Published: September 1st 2012
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Rachel and I were assigned to the operating room on this day. Upon our arrival we were given a brief tour of the place. They seemed to have all the essential facilities such as operating tables, vital sign operators, coagulation devices, suctioning devices, etc. Sterility was still questionable at times yet they did their best to maintain as clean and environment as possible. The first minor surgery we got to see involved in EOU (Evacuation of Uterus), the contents of which needed to be removed after an aborted fetus' remains still lingered within. Following this was a cervical biopsy, albeit under no anasthesia, and the woman bellowed out continuous moans as the doctor worked.

The main major surgery of the day was a total hysterectomy. The woman was presenting with uterine fibroids and had had a myectomy several years back. Dr. Kugbey, with whom we had gone on rounds with earlier in the morning, was performing the surgery and was incredibly informative, not only with his assessment skills but with his anatomical knowledge and surgical skill. The procedure began with the woman being brought into the main theatre and given a spinal epidural. The monitors were set up and iodine was used to disinfect the site. I was given permission to take photos. Dr. Kugbey began by removing the old scar tissue and cutting through the adipose tissue. The previous surgery had produced multiple adhesions and it took quite a while to reach the uterus. Eventually when they did reach it, they began to cauterize all the vessels leading to it and then pulled it out completely. I was monitoring the patient's vitals and urine output (patient had been given Lasix so that we could monitor to make sure a ureter wasn't severed). As they were closing her up the doc noticed that her anus was perforated so he repaired that as well before stitching her up beautifully. The surgery that should have taken less than an hour, now had taken about three hours! At this point we were all starved and returned back to the convent to chow down on some rice and fish sauce. We walked back after that satisfying meal and observed a bilateral inguinal hernia repair.

I went by Dr. Kugbey's home within the compound, and noticed that next to his ground nut harvest, there was a rudimentary weight lifting set. Sold. He came outside and I put him through a brutal circuit. He's sure to be sore for the next few days!

Overall an incredibly interesting day. The evening was spent drinking STAR beer and watching the opening ceremony of the Olympic games.

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