An interesting article in this weekend’s Guardian Review entitled ‘Your life in their hands William Boyd on the rise of the surgeon writer’. Boyd explores what it means to work in the fraught and perilous world of the operating theatre. In it, a particular surgeon interviewed states phlegmatically.
‘Surgery is legalised assault, from one point of view. Just as you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, you can’t be a surgeon without cutting people open with sharp knives.’
I was particularly interested in what this surgeon had to say because he is our surgeon, or rather Brenda’s, Brendan Moran. Immediately following his introduction as a ‘world famous colorectal surgeon’ two of the surgeon writers are quoted, on what I assume, are similar procedures to the one Brenda has undergone.
‘Atul Gawande succinctly describes what is the norm: “We made a fast, deep slash down the middle of the abdomen, from rib cage to pubis. We grabbed retractors and pulled him open”.
Gabriel Weston says: “We cut the woman open from breastbone to pubis and cleared her gut out with one deep sweep.”
If her scar is anything to go by, this is what happened to Brenda.
The article continues to discuss Brendan Moran (…and Brenda, read this bit carefully and think about it.)
‘One of the major operations he performs is treat a rare cancer of the appendix, pseudomyxoma peritonei, that can involve stripping out the lining of the abdomen and other organs and then washing the abdominal cavity with a heated solution (40 degrees) of chemotherapy drugs (remember I said he was phlegmatic…) “VERY MAJOR SURGERY” Moran describes it.
Up until now we’ve described Brenda’s operation as major surgery. Now, the very guy who performed it, inserts the very. There is no doubting that Brenda’s recovery has been remarkable and her return to work speedy, if perhaps hasty. Let’s not lose sight of what has happened and consider that…fully.
Brenda Moran, I for one salute you.