Friday, 14 April 2017
This was a seven hour operation and nobody gets a break.Sometimes the surgeons get to sit. I stood and watched and these are my thoughts.
A vein harvesting is like unpicking very fine fabric, you can't damage any of the surrounding material but it is securely and stubbornly attached to it.
Over a hundred sutures needles are used; the endless counting and opening of sterile packets .All packaging is opened by a theatre nurse in a peel apart movement and then offered to the scrub nurse without handling the contents.
Bead sutures have big beads on the end.
7-0 needles are very tiny, like thorns.
This procedure requires six surgeons working all at once.
The vein is passed through a metal tube which has been inserted under the flesh, it has been measured to make sure it is long enough and has been checked for twists. It has had a catheter passed along it to check that there are no obstructions.The surgeon noted any resistance he felt as threaded the catheter through. It is like threading elastic through a waistband or threading a rouleaux loop into trapunto quilting, it is all about the resistance, the pull and the timing.
Surgeons use glue.