Chapter 55: Stitching and the Saw
Before the start of the operation, an inflatable tourniquet was placed on the malformed limb of patient No. 25. While it had significantly reduced the perioperative blood loss, there was still fresh crimson blood flowing out of the incision. As the operation continued, the nurses had already begun blood transfusion for the patient at the lower limbs.
The strong smell of iron from the blood blended with the distinctive whiff of the malformed limb and fumed mercilessly towards Gu Jun. Receiving the needle forceps from the circulating nurse, Gu Jun bent toward the operative field.
"Be careful," Zhu Ruiwen dropped a word of advice and turned back to his own procedure. He still had to handle the twisted and malformed levator scapulae (neck and shoulder muscle) and the rhomboid muscle (shoulder blades). The malformation of a Banyan Malformation Disease patient was rooted from within the tissue outwards to the surface. As such, the difficulty of the operation would only intensify as the process continued.
With the aid of the 2nd assistant, 1st assistant, Zen Jianguo, moved on to assist the primary surgeon.
With a deep breath, Gu Jun took his first stitch on the twisted muscle.
Hm, slightly tougher than usual. I need to use more force.
Narrowing his eyes onto the cut, his nerves on his hands quickly adjusted to the new texture. Only thinking about his task, it was much less daunting. Be it jinmenken, an average person, or a malformed limb, all he needed to do was to apply his sutures professionally.
Like the thousands of practices he did in the past half month, he stitched 1 after another.
Among the surgeons, the only one who had time to watch was errand boy, Li Hualong. On the sidelines, the nurses were also watching Gu Jun, who had taken a radical change.
"Wow." As the circulating nurse, this nurse had an obligation to watch over the procedure and assist should it be necessary. Initially, she had believed that this little boy would be frantic and panicky. Worst still, he could be chased away from the table by more experienced surgeons to calm down. Who knew? The scene right now was dramatically different. She could not believe her eyes.
Is this the same boy that was scared listless just now?
Li Hualong's brows raised as he watched on. Gu Jun was like a swordsman who was brandishing his blade expertly, swiftly, and cutting through the wind. Pure elegance.
Gu Jun was using the running locking suture. While the start and end were highly similar to the simple continuous suture, the process was much more complicated. Every stitch had to pass through the loop of the previous stitch. This method could prevent the wound from reopening and played a more substantial role in providing hemostasis. However, it was not widely used due to its complex steps and time consumption.
However, Gu Jun was finishing his suturing at a swift pace. Even when compared to the conventional time needed for a simple continuous suture, he was fast.
In comparison with the timing for the running locking suture, he was lightning fast. It was almost as if Gu Jun was a staple machine which clicks nonstop and was 100% accurate even at top speed.
"Gu Jun, he is indeed…" within his heart, Li Hualong muttered in admiration. "What a talent."
He did not harbour maliciousness towards Gu Jun, but was undoubtedly uncomfortable with him as a second aid. If this wasn't the Phecda Department, he would have believed that Gu Jun had gone through a backdoor especially with that poor performance before the start of the operation.
All these doubts and dissatisfaction in Li Hualong's heart had vanished. His initial arrogance and resentment were forcibly stripped off.
When he was admitted into the Phecda Department, the belief that he was very talented was deeply rooted within him. But now, Gu Jun gave him a life lesson, "There would always be someone better than you."
"Nicely done, second assistant!" Zhu Ruiwen looked at the suture and exclaimed. The surprise that he initially had when watching Gu Jun was back on his face.
This was the Gu Jun that Elder Qin spoke so highly of!
With the cessation of the blood loss, the surgical field cleared up. The next step could now be carried out by the primary surgeon and 1st assistant.
Zhu Ruiwen started to operate on the twisted scapular levator muscles. At that point, cries echoed throughout the room again. The patient's body spasmed as sorrowful bawling ensued, "Ah, please. Please let me go… oh. Oh… my child. My two babies… let them go… they are young…"
The patient's voice became more and more emotional and pained. While they may claim that it was words of delirium, the sentences were very complete and coherent. Every word shook with horror and reeked of despair. It seemed that something more terrible than death had happened.
These words clawed on the will of everybody in the operating room. Just like a lone ship sailing on the stormy seas, blown by the strong wind and crashed by the waves. Once it could not stand upright, it would be swept away into the abyss.
As the heartwrenching words continued, Li Hualong's will gradually weakened. Like some lethal poisons, mental stress was initially asymptomatic initially, but it slowly intruded the heart as time passed. At the breaking point, it would launch a sudden attack. Soon, its effects would show up. Li Hualong's right hand, which was holding gauze to clean the blood and black liquid from the wound, was trembling. Despite his utmost efforts, he couldn't control it.
Under the glare of the shadowless lamp, his forehead was sparkling. The pressure was really scraping away his resilience. "Sister Chen," Li Hualong turned to his head and called, "sorry to trouble you. Please help me clean up the sweat on my forehead."
Sister Chen was the circulating nurse. She immediately walked over. With a clean gauze, she gave a strong forceful wipe on the rascal's forehead, jolting him back into attention. To be honest, many of the other nurses on the sideline wanted to give this brat a "reminder" too. Initially, they had wanted to speak for Li Hualong and help him get promoted. Alas, now they knew Zhu Ruiwen was perfect in his judgement.
Li Hualong ah, Li Hualong. Look at Gu Jun!!
Ever since Gu Jun began the stitching, he seemed to have morphed into a completely different person. Despite facing the patient's mania at point-blank, his calmness and steadfastness were unshaken. Right now, Gu Jun's impeccable stature could be said to be the motivation of the entire room. After all, if a newbie could keep his cool, the experienced members like the others did not wish to bear the embarrassment of being the first to give up.
"My child, my child…" Even when fleeting through the blurred lines of consciousness, the patient constantly repeated this sentence as if it was her last threads of hope.
"Phoo, phoo." Gu Jun kept breathing at a steady rhythm while his hands worked. It almost seemed like his fingers were independent of his body as he moved the needle forceps quickly and precisely.
Contrary to the others's opinions, he did hear the anguished words of the patient. However, he had clearly distinguished his mission.
Although they were also causing extreme pain to others, they were different from those scums from the Lai Sheng company.
His job was simple; saving people. That's all.
Your two children; your family and friends. If they are in this group of patients, we will also be sure to save them.
Gu Jun swore in his heart solemnly. For now, he would not think of other things. It's just him and every stitch he was making to reduce the blood loss bit by bit.
Deep in focus, Gu Jun had lost track of time. Wherever Zhu Ruiwen pointed to, he stitched. Even when his forehead was glistening like the summer seas, he did not notice. Circulating nurse, Sister Chen, had to take the initiative to call out to him, "Second Assistant Gu, turn your head over. Let me clean your sweat for you."
"Oh, okay." Gu Jun turned his head slightly. Even so, his hands never stopped.
That blew the minds of Li Hualong and the nurses.
Did Gu Jun grow eyes on his hands? How the heck is he able to keep stitching? And it is still flawless!
"Oh my, there's so much sweat." Gently, Sister Chen held up the gauze and patted away the beads of sweat. "Don't be nervous. You are doing fantastic."
Gu Jun smiled and turned back. Well, not like he ever felt nervous.
Having removed the back muscles, it was time for the sawing of the clavicle to expose the nerves and blood vessels.
It was only natural that bone sawing was part of the process. The scalpel just won't be enough, not when the bones were malformed and twisted to this extent.
"Where's the saw?" asked Zhu Ruiwen. The scrub nurse immediately passed a Stryker power system saw, dragged a cable, and set it to high horsepower. With a 14mm drill bit securely attached, Zhu Ruiwen could start it the very instant it landed on his hands. With a press of a button, the blood-curdling screeches rang.
CHHK! CHHK! CHHK!
"Ah…" The patient's gut-wrenching screams layered over the bone cutting screeches from the saw.
Anaesthetist Yan Haizhe stared at the indicators displayed on the anaesthesia machine. On his side, the nurses were in position and ready to rescue at any moment. The local anaesthesia operation had a 76% success rate. Of the 24% failure rate, it was mostly at the step of sawing the bones. Should the patient be unable to bear it, some would lose consciousness and never wake up due to pain; some even triggered cardiac arrest.
Gu Jun left his position and watched quietly while Zhu Ruiwen held the saw to the clavicle in the patient's posterior incision. With steady hands, he sawed slowly and precisely.
CHHK! CHHK! CHHK!
The black liquid sprayed everywhere. Crimson blood burst out. Flesh and the bones were reduced to mush and dust.