Friday, 12 July 2013

MY ENCOUNTER WITH SURGEONS: A TREMENDOUS EXPERIENCE

My first visit to a multispeciality hospital in Mumbai paints a vivid series of memories. I was 10 years old and was very small, but I felt an amazing energy that surrounded me there. Each step I took into the confines of this hospital, I realised that it was a vast new world to be explored.

What caught my immediate attention was the surgeons with their green surgical robes and masks on. They were surrounded by an unmatched aura even though their faces reflected tiredness, probably due to the continues stretches of long operations. I looked up at them out of respect, although they never noticed the protruding eyes of a small little boy.

When I grew up, I always held a special respect for these surgeons. Indeed, their work is noble and unparalleled by any other profession. Isn't it amazing that a person can drill right through the skull into the brain and work on it? Or work on the premises of an alive and beating heart, around the veins and the arteries surrounded by oozing blood? And all of these when the patient is alive and breathing, when the heart is beating and pumping several liters of blood!



In the recent past, a neurosurgeon from Southampton, UK attempted to complete a brain tumour removal surgery on a patient whilst he is awake and eyes open. The novelty of this surgery was that the doctor decided to telecast the surgery live to the world, so that medical students, enthusiasts and others can get a peek into the insides of a brain surgery. Out of curiosity, I ended up watching the complete 2 hour surgery and had a personally remarkable experience. The surgeon explained each and every step that he performed on microphone during the surgery. I never realised how time flew by and at the end, the surgeon completed a fully successful surgery amidst applause and standing ovation from people all around the world. I was impressed thoroughly by their precision hand-eye control on the minute and extremely small veins inside the brain. It was interesting to see how he passed electric currents thorough the brain whilst asking the patient to count numbers so that he can check if there is a speech arrest situation. The surgeon said that he was working in close proximity to the section of the brain that handles speech, so he was ensuring he did not damage the same. I learnt and left in complete awe of the surgery, especially the surgeon.

I once came across Dr. B K Mishra at Hinduja National Hosptial in Mumbai. Being a master neurosurgeon and one of the finest in the whole world in Gamma Knife surgery, his humility and modesty impressed me immensely. I learnt a lot by just looking at him. I always feel surgeons work in one of the most complex environments. He has to positively deal with the stress and tension of a patient before he enters into the surgery. At the very same time, he has to scrutinize and plan each and every step that he will perform during the operation. Sometimes, I was told that the cases pose surprisingly unseen problems and it is the child like enthusiasm of  these surgeons that renders a new ray of hope to a terminally ill patient.

Surgeons are blessed by the hand of God, for it is him who can lessen the sufferings of a person bogged down by the anxiety and fear that arises with any physical aliment. Life offers so much for us to learn, where some people are not just people, but are themselves an institution, of knowledge and humility, a strong and invincible combination.