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Monday, 06 February 2017 21:16

On the Other Side of the Knife

Normally I walk into an operating room wearing surgical scrubs and a mask. This time was different. I had on the classic surgical gown open in the back and nothing underneath. I was wheeled into the operating room flat on my back on a narrow gurney with an IV in my arm. I saw the operating room and the bright surgical lights. That was it – that was the last thing I remember!

The surgery was to remove a growth on my neck that had been previously removed some years ago was not supposed to grow back. But as I tell all of my patients medicine is not an exact science. Sometimes these things happen. As all surgical consents say: there are no guarantees in surgery. We just have to move on and address the problem at hand. In my case it was the removal of the larger than original lipoma on the back of my neck.

Fortunately everything went well. My wife waited on me for a few days which was nice. I even got out of doing dishes for a few days!

I regretted having to go through this procedure again but it did remind me of several important things. The first and probably the most important thing is that nothing can be guaranteed with any type of medical treatment. In spite of everyone’s best effort my benign tumor came back. The second thing I was reminded of is that even though medical care is inconvenient, it is still wonderful to live in a time and place when medical problems can be taken care of. Finally, I believe that experiencing a medical procedure as a patient, makes you a more understanding provider of medical care.

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