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Old 10-04-2005, 02:35 PM
Velma Velma is offline
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,815
Do surgeons take breaks during long surgeries?

I was watching a show the other day and it mentioned a surgery that took over 12 hours to complete. How can a surgeon stay focused that long? Does she / he take breaks or do other surgeons come in to relieve him? It seems like a difficult and tedious operation like say, brain surgery you couldn't just hand off the scalpel to a relief surgeon. "I left off at the brain stem, Bob. Take it from there." Would the beginning surgeon go out and have a sandwich or something and then scrub back in? What if he really has to pee? If I was a surgeon I would worry about stuff like that.

What about emergency surgery that goes on and on? You couldn't just set the clamp down and go get something to eat, but wouldn't the surgeon's fatigue or hunger keep her from performing at her best?

I have learned things from shows like ER that show Dr.'s talking about the game or listening to music during surgery, but I haven't seen anyone address this.


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