Dr. Hansen explained to me that more is not always better when it comes to screening, because if she finds something she has to do something about it, and that could lead to more complicated and less ideal situations. For example, if she could screen for one thing and instead find another—say, a benign tumor in the colon. If she operates on that tumor, even though it will most likely never become malignant, and there’s a complication, it could result in a hernia and cause havoc.
From now on I lost track of what happened on which corresponding number day, so I’ll just talk about everything that I saw or did in the rough order that it happened.
Today I watched Dr. Hansen perform Botox and learned that it can be used for more than wrinkles. Botox is a muscle paralytic and can be used to combat severe headaches. There are also no age restrictions and the product can be used on patients as young as babies.
As you may know, I haven’t posted a blog in many days. I apologize for the delay, there were a number of deaths in the family—one of which included my grandmother—and the past couple weeks have been tremendously difficult. Time is still scarce, but I have been steadily compiling notes on my daily activities and need to organize them into complete posts.
Today we spent the day at the clinic for preop (pre-operation) and postop (post-operation) consultations. One of the patients had received a mastectomy and needed to reconstruct one or more of their breasts. Another patient had implants but needed an augmentation to fix existing complications with the breasts' appearances.
Interesting fact: saline implants can remain in place for life, while medical professionals recommend replacing silicone implants every 10 years or so.
Today was a SURGERY day!! After arriving at OHSU South (the upper campus) I suited up in my scrubs, hair covering, surgical mask, booties, and Dansko clogs. The clogs were essential, practically every surgeon, nurse, technician, anesthesiologist, and person in between wears these Dansko clogs, and the shoes' strong arch support helps relieve stress on the feet, knees, and back during a long day in the OR (operating room).
Howdy there! This week I spent 5 wonderful, jam-packed, intense days shadowing Dr. Julie Hansen at OHSU. She's a reconstructive plastic surgeon there and I got to follow here around her clinic and her operating room. Dr. Hansen and I met during my advanced biology class when I shadowed her for several days, and during that time I also got to know the plastic surgery residency coordinator, Amanda Kotsovos.
Now let me summarize each day of senior projects so far one at a time, starting with the first:
We're back in Kathmandu after two exciting days in Bhaktapur visiting historical sites. The temples were large, old, and quite beautiful. The people were almost always friendly and smiled when we gave them the polite Nepali greeting of a bow and the words "Namaste." Shopping in and around the public squares was an adventure, and we all worked on our bartering skills. Some of the vendors were more aggressive than others, including a certain silver-encrusted turtleshell salesman who followed Dylan and me for over 30 minutes.