Today marks a very important day. Today I did my very first surgery. As a veterinary student, I have been waiting for this day forever. For my first spay, I had a small brown beagle that had whelped in the past.
On surgery morning, I woke up dark and early and headed to school, eager to get started. Our pup was very excited to see us and everything started off smoothly. But as we were about begin our preparation, my friend realized that something was not right. After mixing two medications into one syringe, every other group around us had yellow tinged fluid in their syringe while ours had remained clear. Apparently the people who prepared the meds for us gave us two syringes of the same medication. As you can imagine, no one knew what was actually in that syringe, so it was a good thing we caught the mistake before we began.
After this initial setback, it’s time to actually start. I scrub in, successfully managing not to bump my hands into the low overhanging cabinets, and get into my gown and gloves without a problem. Before I know it, the drapes have been placed, my assistant surgeon is also scrubbed in and we are ready to roll. With the help of one of our new teachers, I nervously started making the first incision through the skin with my scalpel blade. Taking only one cut to do it, I moved onto the next layer and did the same. After another quick incision, I had found my way into the abdomen. At this point, I was feeling confident, and all the jitters were out of my system. For me, strumming the suspensory ligament was the most difficult, but after a few short steps I had ligated the first ovarian pedicle and transected it from the ovary. Then I had the second one done, then the uterine body. After a quick cut, the organs were removed successfully.
With the organs removed and no signs of blood in the abdomen, it was time to close. During this process, I was so thankful for being taught ahead of time and all of the practice we got. Suturing on live tissue was so much easier than working with flimsy practice foam, and it definitely felt like more of an accomplishment.
Overall I thought the surgery was great. The only downside was that the teacher made me lower my surgery table, to a height well below what it should have been. So for the majority of my surgery, I had to stand in a spread eagle stance to get down to the table. Despite having a very sore back, I would take that any day over sitting in the classroom. As such, the surgery was the shot in the arm I needed to really get me back into gear. Now that it is over, I can’t wait for the next opportunity to scrub in again.