Monday, January 29, 2007

surgery setting...

well, after coming home and throwing my blood and urine-soaked drape, gown, and towels in the washer, doing numerous dishes, discussing my day with the hubby, giving epi her metacam, and changing clothes, i'm ready to blog about my exciting day.

surgery went GREAT. i wasn't nervous at all, but i had this twinge of uncertainty regarding my abilities - given that my last spay was so (to me) difficult. but everything went fanastically today. i was up at 6:30 and at the lab by 7:30. in short order, we had given pre-meds, catheterized our dog, induced him with thiopental (a powerful barbiturate), and tubed him. in fact, our group (myself, jess, and sharon) were the first into the surgery suite. i served as primary surgeon - which meant i got to make the opening incision and try the techniques first. it was quite different than doing a spay. when doing a spay, you try to make a small incision (usually about 1/2 an inch or less). everything you need to do can be done through that opening. with these biopsies, etc - we made an incision that spanned from just under the ribcage (at the xiphoid process) all the way down past the penis (we had a male dog, obviously). it was probably 9 inches or so. a huge opening. that went well. i had to ligate the preputial vein so that it didn't bleed when i sliced between it, but that went swimmingly - no hitches. it bled a little after i tied it with sutures, but i went back and re-ligated it a couple of times, and it was fine.

then it was time for the fun to start. we began with the liver biopsy - which requires reaching up into the ribcage and pulling the liver into the field of view. remarkably easy - although you obviously don't want to yank too hard (or you risk yanking a lobe loose). we used 2 methods to get liver tissue - a standard guillotine - where suture is looped around the tip of a liver, tied tightly to crush the tissue, and then the liver piece is removed with scissors or a scalpel. we also did a different method that involved tying 3 knots. that biopsy went beautifully and we moved on to the kidney. it was so much fun digging around in the dogs peritoneal cavity, fishing for a kidney! that biopsy was a bit harder, as something like a quarter of blood flow from the heart goes directly to the kidneys (thus, they bleed a great deal). my first biopsy was ugly! luckily i got to go back and try again in a different area of the kidney, and that one turned out well.

so yada yada yada. i got to to do the incisional gastropexy - which was REALLY cool. i'm not sure how good mine was - but i think i did a-ok for a first timer. it was incredibly neat to actually suture part of the stomach to the body wall. you wouldn't think the stomach would hold well to the wall, but it was surprisingly strong. jess did the cystotomy.

and ya'll saw the pictures s0 -- enough with the yakking...

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