crazy kind of cool

February 19, 2009

one of the best things that happened to me in my neurosurgery rotation was getting to watch an AWAKE CRANIOTOMY, today ie. brain surgery on a conscious patient. she had a tumor in her parietal lobe near Wernicke’s area, a strip of brain cortex that controls speech. if we removed too much of the tumor, she would lose her ability to talk. so Mr D opted to do the surgery while she was awake and we had to keep her talking throughout the surgery while we chipped away at the tumor.

we also used a cortical stimulator to determine the pre-frontal gyrus where the motor strip lay, by stimulating the brain with a small electric current and it was amazing to see her arms twitch whenever the current was applied. ok i will spare you the full details but IT WAS ABSOLUTELY MINDBLOWING. i mean, this is the stuff that i watch on Grey’s Anatomy and never ever thought i would get to see, but voila, my opportunity just came along! i think i hit the surgical jackpot- i am totally in awe and forever grateful. 🙂 i will probably never see another surgery like this in my life but i’m sure i’ll remember it even if i’m 85 and demented heehee.

on a side note K and i both got ankle oedema from standing two hours at radiology meeting, so we took TED stockings from the ward to wear overnight. hahaha i hope it works


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