Ghana Blog: Surprising Myself

July 14th, 2017

Before today, I had always felt squeamish at the thought of viewing surgery. Just watching the human body being cut open and seeing the surgeon maneuver fat and other body parts around just looked so unnatural to me. I thought I would never be able to sit through one. Today, I was genuinely surprised. I witnessed two hernia repairs on two men. I watched as the nurses administered the local anesthesia by inserting it through their spine. I watched as they prepped the area that wss going to be cut open for surgery. And I watched as the surgeon oh so casually cut open the spot on the abdomen where the hernia was located and began his work. As the surgeon was working, he had house officers (those who were fresh out of medical school) assisting him. He would quiz them on the internal parts of the body he was manipulating. It was incredible to me how he and the house officers were able to quickly identify what they were working with. Everything was covered in blood, and everything just looked the same to me. It was also amazing to me how fast he worked. He burned through the layers of fat until he got to the specific area he wanted to work on. He moved the different muscles around. He cut through layers of muscle, and he stitched up areas to help fix the problem. This hernia repair was not groundbreaking surgery. In fact, I am sure it only took about twenty minutes to repair and had the surgeon not been quizzing the house officers it would have taken even less time. However, with this being my first surgery, it was a pretty awesome experience. I am not all that knowledgeable about the anatomy of the human body, but the thought of applying what you have learned is just so amazing. To be able to learn about the different parts and functions of the human body in a diagram and then watch people use that knowledge to help fix a problem and make a person's quality of life better is a very gratifying feeling. I wish I had been able to stay long enough to witness the other types of surgeries thay they had planned for the day. Now that I know that seeing a person's insides does not make me feel weak, I am so eager to view more. Florence Urum

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