Watching A Spinal Surgery

10 Mar

Spinal Fusion

Sorry about the lack of updates. Life has been crazy busy with research, classes, job hunting, and studying(up to my eyeballs). Wanted to post really quick about the spinal surgery I shadowed while volunteering. It was different from the other couple surgeries I’ve seen. It was longer(almost 3 hours, not counting patient prep time) and I had more time to interact with the head surgeon before going in, which was nice. The surgery was a lumbar interbody infusion with instrumentation.

From what I understood after watching the procedure and talking with the doctor it was a surgery to help the patient who was suffering from spinal pain due to movement and/or rubbing of the vertebrae. They used laparoscopic equipment to operate. It was nice to finally see the equipment I’ve been helping stock being used in real life. I was shocked at the use of a hammer/mallet device to get the bone graft between the vertebrae. How barbaric! 😛 They used a long fancy screwdriver, of sorts, to stabilize the vertebrae to the plates they placed in.

I’m really disgusted with myself for forgetting to get some pictures of the procedure. One of the surgical team members was taking pictures with their smart phone during different parts and told me to give them my email at the end so they could send them to me. Don’t know how legal/ethical that is. The patient’s face was not visible at all, just their back, but I’d think you might need their permission to do stuff like that. The surgeon even posed for one of the pictures too, and no one else seemed too concerned about it. Haha.

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Posted by on March 10, 2011 in Volunteer


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