June 2012 (Part 1)
By Chris Villanueva, OREXer ’11-12
On my observation day, I was in general surgery with Dr. Chong and it was something else. During the meeting, Dr. Harken talked about how oxygen delivery is caused by cardiac output, which is the length and intensity of exercise. This factor helps increase our quality and quantity of life.
After this wonderful lecture, I went into the OR with Charlie, a UCSF medical student and Dr. Chong, who surprisingly was my doctor in Kaiser Hayward. He was going to take out my appendix, but that was ruled out. The first surgery that we saw was an umbilical hernia, where Dr. Chong had his whole finger in his belly. After watching this short surgery, the next patient came in with a right Colectomy. That patient had pre-cancer and they wanted to remove the risk of it growing into a tumor by taking that part of the colon out. I saw as they prepped the patient and most importantly go over the comprehensive surgical checklist. There was the “sign in,” which had a list of checkpoints before the patient transferred to the OR bed. The “time out,” which was another checklist before the patient is cut. Finally, the “sign out,” which was a list of checkpoints before the patient leaves the OR. For this surgery, they used a camera and microscopic instruments to cut and shear the colon without actually cutting her open.
The doctor cut part of the colon out until they finally removed part of the colon with the appendix through her belly button. Honestly, it was worth the six hour observation because it was huge, I thought it was going to be a small portion but it was huge and I got to see the appendix! After they took out the colon with the appendix, Dr. Chong finally came in and performed a reanastomosis. Charlie explained that a reanastomosis is when they connect two tubes together to help heal the colon and resume with proper bowel movement. He also explained that if there is too little colon, then they cannot perform a reanastomosis and as a result, a permanent colostomy bag is required. We would have a non- reanastomosis if there were too much cancer on the colon and we would not be able to connect it to another tube. This was one of my best observation surgeries.