Here is everyone's favorite character from House and/or Scrubs, me!
Today I shadowed a pediatric Neurosurgeon at Children's Hospital. I observed a long epilepsy surgery. There were two parts to this procedure: the corpus callotomy and the implatation of electrodes. First the surgeon opened up the scalp and removed a piece of bone about 2.5 inch by 1.5 inch. He was very careful to avoid an important feature of the brain cavity where he was working, the superior sagital sinus. That is an important vein that carries much of the blood from the brain back to the heart. If he nicked it bad the patient could have died or suffered a major stroke. He then opened up the brain's surrounding membrane, the dura mater, and gently separated the brain away from the membrane that lies in its middle. Finally, he removed the corpus callosum with suction. That is a structure that is the only interconnection between the two halves of the brain and transmits seizures from one side to the other. By cutting it, the seizures cannot spread and are therefore not magnified.
The second part of the surgery was when the surgeon put electrodes on the surface of the brain. Since the brain was already exposed, it was easy for him to slide them between the dura mater and the surface of the brain without many further incisions.
It is so amazing to have witnessed this surgery. This is the first time that I have seen a live human brain. The brain pulsates with each beat of the heart. "Two organs beat as one..." (think U2). It was so amazing and reminded me why I wanted to be a physician and how cool my future role is. I will have the tools and knowledge to cure disease--to save patients from states that are awful. Epilepsy is horrible. But physicians can treat it. I really wanted a job where I could serve, and I see once again that medical school gives me the tools to do so in a very meaningful manner. I dedicate my life to learning now so that I may be a blessing to others later. I think that a doctors labor mirrors the Savior's better than almost any other career.
Well, hope you enjoyed me sharing this experience with you.