On a day of surgery, he whistles on his way to work, and he smiles as he pulls on his surgical cap. In the operating room, he chats happily to his colleagues, listens to music and exchange a joke or two, and he never minds showing students or visiting surgeons what he is doing. A day in theatre is a great day for Dr James; he is in his happy place, knowing he is improving lives of his patients and their families.
When the hospital reduced staff numbers and started a new rota system, Dr James found that new staff couldn’t quite keep up with him. When his favourite assistant had to take time off for sick leave, things got even worse. His surgical site was crowded, and he felt like he couldn’t get a good visual. His surgeries took longer, and felt more difficult. He worried about outcomes more than he used to.
One evening he got the call no surgeon wants: a large post op hematoma, and the patient needed reopening. On his way in, he went over the surgery earlier that day in his head, over and over again. What had he missed!?
The next morning, after checking on his patient, he briefed the team on the case. Complaining loudly about the lack of access he experienced during surgery possibly leading to the bleed, the room nodded, recognising the challenge with visual access.
One of the juniors got out her phone, and showed the room a picture on the screen. With a big grin on her face, she said: “This is what you need, prof! Self retaining retractor! You’ll be in complete control of your surgical field and you won’t need ANYONE else!”
Galaxy II can’t operate your patient, but she can make sure you get the best possible access to where YOU need to be to complete the surgery.