Thursday, 10 May 2018

Surgical planes

 

 Planes in surgery may sound a bit odd but it is a term also used in the art world so I was not unfamiliar with it myself. In vascular surgery you are concerned with particular areas and the focus is on the access to arteries. I am fairly used to this view of the body now so it was when I watched a 'reflection' that I had a leap in understanding how the body is structured. It was still with a vascular focus though so when I watched a stomach cancer being removed the penny finally dropped.
  Secret compartments, sliding panels, hidden doors, inner rooms, magic cabinets, this is what it means! Like a puzzle box the body can hide and reveal itself in the same spaces like a magic trick. If you had those puzzle cubes as a child that turn and fold to reveal different pictures this is how the body can be.
 To see a glimpse of this marvel is profound, more so because it was only a slight shift in perception that gave it away.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Reflection

 

Reflection is such a gentle sounding word, with its watery esoteric meaning, so when I was told I was going to watch a surgical reflection I could not imagine what I was going to see. The point of the operation was to repair two aneurysms that were in very hard to reach areas, that is to say behind other organs. These organs had to move out of the way and that very very simply is a reflection.
   I can only use the metaphor of a tightly packed wardrobe to describe this procedure. Some of the clothes have to come out and the others must be carefully moved along one way and then the other to get at the mending behind. It is the kind of operation where a surgeon must see with their hands. This was the dominant feature of what I saw, that of hands moving with their own sight and understanding.Gentle cradling movements, sliding over one part to find another and lifting soft structures. This was how it was being taught too as it can only be learnt by touch.Hands were guided and taught to feel their way around delicate areas, membranes and connective tissue felt and tested and parted.So material knowledge is gained of all the mysterious areas of the body.
 Surgeons speak of planes within the body but it was not until I watched another type of operation later that I fully understood what this meant.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Imperial Festival



  Last weekend I was at Imperial College London's public festival where all can come and see the research work that is done at the college. The work that I am doing with ICCESS was on show and we were explaining how the Textile Body worked by having surgeons operate on it for a fascinated public. It was wonderful for me to see consultants happily describing what they do and engaging with it.They trained many future surgeons that day and I am very proud and grateful to them for coming along to help!