Through vet school so far I have been petrified of surgery, there was so much talk of different layers in tissues, and tissue planes that in our specimens for dissection that I just could not for the life of me see. With pathological anatomy and the move to dog cadavers it got a little bit better, however the thinness of the layers, and just how delicate some tissues were scared me a little.
Recently I’ve made the effort to be more involved in surgery procedures, I want to develop my tissue handling skills. Books can take you so far, however it is only practical experience that can teach just what is possible to do with the tissues that make up the body. How hard you can pull them, how hard you need to cut, what they look like when they are alive. It is quite scary how different tissues and organs can appear from anatomy or pathological anatomy lessons – especially sometimes when you add in the extra effects of anaesthesia.
So coming into surgery it is amazing how much stronger living tissue actually is, and the layers are thicker, and the way that the colours are a lot more vibrant. The way you can see your way between the muscles, and the different organs, vessels and nerves to get where you need to go. The way you can move things out of your way without them breaking, and the way that the tissue stretches. It’s an art now, and one that has captured me.
The ability to open a body, fix a problem and then close it up again to heal and be back to normal function. I’ve found my calling.