Thursday, July 24, 2014

How many...???

So how many people does it take to perform a gynecological exam?

17 apparently.

Yes, all 17 of these people were in the same (small) room, all at the same time during multiple exams, which included the usual inspection, bimanual exam, and trans-vaginal ultrasound. Insane right? There were 3 nurses, 7 doctors, 6 students (myself included), and of course the all important PROFESSOR. The reason was that they were qualifying the women for surgery the next day, even still it seems excessive.

What's more strange is that the women have no problems with it. They just march in and strip down in front of everyone who are already standing there waiting for her (there are no hospital gowns here and no time to prep yourself before the doctor comes in). There are also no coverings of any sort to help protect modesty.

Stuff like this doesn't seem to make much of a difference when we're talking about abdominal exams, or even looking at limbs. But, when it's in the private regions it's really something different all together. The patients are almost fully naked with no covering. Granted like I said before they really don't seem to care about it or if they do they don't show it, but as a  North American it's something strange indeed.

On another note, I'm enjoying this rotation a lot more than I thought I would. I really like having the opportunity to be in surgery and assist. I'm able to assist a whole lot more in the ob/gyn department than I did in the surgery department.

My first c-section I got to help deliver twins! I'd never seen a c-section before and I was not disappointed- boy was it bloody. WAY more bloody than some of the other surgeries I've seen. It's because of all the amniotic fluid and the pressure and stuff, but wow. My classmates who were standing behind me ended up a little bit too close to the splash zone and managed to get almost as covered as I was (almost). The kids were cute though.

I'm also now able to read an ultrasound, which feels like such an accomplishment! I'm may be a little bit on the proud side with that because I thought I'd never be able to read those things! I'm the only one in my group who's been able to correctly identify the sex of the babies, and I've got finding the ovaries, myomas, and what not down to an art.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


I witnessed my first vaginal delivery today.

I think I might be scarred for life. WOW. I know it's natural and that women have been doing it for millions of years but I've seen car accident victims who have bled less and lets just say that whole episiotomy business is kind of gruesome. It's probably worse when they let it tear naturally, but in the words of my Doctor tour guide, "It looks like a bomb has gone off in here." Personally it looked more like an atomic bomb than your every day run of the mill explosive, but you get the picture.

In the end she was all sewn up and everything looked almost back to normal, but it's amazing how some of the women are very calm about the whole situation (then again they don't really see the damage) and then some women totally freak out.

One of the ladies delivered the baby and then 5 minutes later was chatting up the nurses and asking when she could have sex again. Personally after pushing a watermelon through a hole the size of a raisin, that would not be my first question (particularly after an episiotomy). And then on the opposite side of the spectrum there's the screamers who you can hear from the elevators before you get to the ward, but I suppose if that's what relieves the pain then scream away. (As a side note they don't do epidurals here and only have IV meds which the mothers don't generally care for).

The husbands facial expressions are even better to watch than the birth itself. Some of them cry, some smile, some look like they're going to pass out, and some like todays new dad stare at the placenta with a look of curiosity camera in hand. No he didn't take a picture, though I can't say the thought didn't cross his mind. We couldn't help but to be excited for him, he sat there stroking his child, smiling giddily.

It was a little girl, 10 fingers, 10 toes, APGAR 9. Perfect.