Thoracic surgeries were the focus this week. I observed an aortic valve replacement and a CABG on Monday, but the rest of the week we barely focused on hearts.

On Tuesday I observed the removal of an esophageal diverticulum. A diverticulum is a sac or pouch that arises from an organ, in this case the esophagus. I watched as the surgeon removed the diverticulum and sent it off to pathology. I could not believe how thick and large it was. Even pathology did not know where to start examining the diverticulum! It was about a four-hour procedure, and the patient is doing well.

Wednesday was the day of all days for thoracic surgeries. There were two different procedures taking place, but I decided to observe a left upper lobectomy. In this case, the patient had lung cancer and the surgeons had to remove his entire upper lobe on the left side. When the lobe finally came out, I started inching closer to it just to get a better look.

Megan5.jpg I also learned more about the training that residents go through in order to become certified. I volunteered to be a victim for ATLS training. This type of training places doctors in difficult trauma positions, usually with limited resources, in order to see if they take the proper steps to save the patient.

(In photo: Megan with nurse practitioner Casiano. He thought I talked funny because I have a New York accent!)

I was a pregnant woman involved in a car accident and I listened as the doctors attempted to pass the test and save my life. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I was able to gather useful information that will help me pass this test in the future.

Amid all the surgeries this week, I also removed sutures on my own for the first time. My mentor was kind enough to allow me to remove sutures from two different patients during clinic.