Saturday, January 09, 2010

Cadaver lab photo of the day 

I spent the day watching spine surgeons implant new devices in to cadavers. All part of making new products that help surgeons help their patients. I took some photographs, and rather liked this one.

Cadaver surgery

For the cognoscenti among you, that's a posterior lumbar interbody fusion.


By Blogger The Conservative Wahoo, at Sat Jan 09, 10:30:00 PM:

Boy, I sure hope we wind up taxing medical devices like the one your featuring here. Hope and Change, Hope and Change!  

By Blogger The Conservative Wahoo, at Sat Jan 09, 10:30:00 PM:


By Blogger JPMcT, at Sat Jan 09, 11:10:00 PM:

Cadavers were just for anatomy in my heyday. Surgery was "See one, do one, teach one" on live humans.

Of course, that works if there are 3000 applicants for every 100 medical school positions.

The future will almost certainly be...well, let's just say, "interesting".

All the "creme de la creme" will be getting business and law degrees instead of wasting their time in medicine.

"See one, try one, kill one"  

By Blogger SR, at Sun Jan 10, 12:10:00 AM:

In medical school, they actually let us operate on dogs. We had to see them every day and make sure they survived the operation and didn't get an infection. No possible way that happens today.  

By Blogger Georgfelis, at Sun Jan 10, 01:39:00 AM:

*erp! Darn glad I stuck with software....  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sun Jan 10, 11:23:00 AM:

The director of our dog lab was Vivian Thomas, a remarkable man and superb surgeon. He helped develop the technical aspects of surgery for congenital heart disease with Alfred Blalock.

Those labs were spotless and the animals received suberb care...better than some hospitals I've been in.

The poor animals would have been destroyed by the pound had they not been used for research and training. All had careful attention to proper anesthesia and humane treatment.

I liked the dogs more than most PETA members I've met. Many of them were adopted and given homes. After PETA started making a big stink, the animals were euthanized rather than released to the public with healed incisions.

I suppose computer simulation training may be more humane, but the experience clearly helped train hundreds of surgeons and researchers.  

By Anonymous DL Sly, at Sun Jan 10, 02:56:00 PM:

JPMcT- How lucky for you to have had the opportunity to know and work with Mr. Thomas. Their story is an amazing one given the era in which performed their *miracles* and the difference of skin color between the two men. It was also the subject of an excellent movie, "Something That God Made" starring Alan Rickman, of "Die Hard" and "Harry Potter" fame, that depicts the trials and errors of Dr. Blaylock and Vivian Thomas' incredible work.  

By Anonymous The Truth is Out There", at Sun Jan 10, 03:38:00 PM:

The rapper Mos Deff played Vivian Thomas -- it was a very subtle and effective performance. "Something the Lord Made" was one of the best movies of the last decade, even though it was "made for TV."  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sun Jan 10, 03:46:00 PM:

He was a local legend at Hopkins back in the mid 70's when I had the honor of working with him, but still very much a humble man for a person of such enormous (albeit, at that time, unrecognized) accomplishment.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jan 12, 11:59:00 AM:

Am I the only one who is curious about what the tatoo looked like before the incision?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jan 12, 02:26:00 PM:

Having had a posterior lumbar fusion (and I'm not a cadaver yet!) I'd say the more technical practice anyone can get, the better.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Feb 17, 09:26:00 PM:

Just found this this photo and your blog on a google image search of Posterior Lumbar Fusion. My husband had the surgery about a week ago for scoliosis. His surgeon has a lifetime is experience (and might have even started out on dogs back in the day). Thanks for posting the photo!  

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