During my shelter animal rotation, I made a lot of revelations about surgery that I feel like sharing with you all. One afternoon as I was spaying one of my patients, I told the veterinarian that I had a confession to make. She looked up at me and I said, “during my junior surgery course, I really didn’t know what I was doing or why I was doing certain things”. As I told her this, I felt so embarrassed, but she laughed and simply replied saying “that’s completely normal”. Whether you laugh, roll your eyes, or totally relate to the content in this post, I think it’s worth reflecting on some of the things I didn’t understand during my junior surgery course that I now confidently know after doing countless surgeries on my shelter animal rotation.
Yes, I took anatomy, and yes, I was present in lectures but for some reason, I realized that I never stopped and really thought about (or reminded myself) on what a pedicle was. I knew that it would be bad news if I dropped it during surgery and it was always something, I was so afraid of doing during junior surgery. Well, spoiler alert… I dropped the pedicle during my first surgery at school and I survived it. Also, for those of you that may be wondering, the ovarian pedicle is the ovarian artery and vein which is in charge of supplying blood to the ovaries. So, if you drop this during surgery without properly ligating it, there could be bleeding in the abdominal cavity from the pedicle. Now that I’ve done my shelter rotation, I have seen so many pedicles and dropped a handful that I now feel comfortable enough to figure it out on my own.
Intestines vs. Uterus
Before junior surgery, the last time I really explored the anatomy of an animal was the first year during my anatomy course. Let me tell you, the organs of an animal cadaver are A LOT different than the real deal. To get right to the point, I felt like I never knew if what I was finding with my spay hook was the uterus or intestines. The abdominal cavity was like a long-lost friend who I hadn’t talked to in a while and I felt like I needed to really catch up with. I always felt unsure about pulling out what I thought was the uterus because I feared it was intestine. I used to think that both structures were long, pinkish, and tubular. I didn’t feel confident in differentiating the two. I’d get so confused. Now, I can confidently identify the difference between the two not only by appearance but also by feel. For me, it’s more about the difference in feel with these two structures. So, if you feel like this don’t freak out, the more exposure and surgeries you do, the more comfortable and confident you’ll be!