Sunday, 7 August 2011

On closer examination

I received various leaflets when I was discharged from hospital, along with the clips for removing the staples and several dressings in case I should need them and a letter giving details of what they'd done to me and why. It was only today that I re-read the letter (I'm supposed to carry it with me all the time while I'm convalescing) and realised that there were several things in the letter which I hadn't noticed. Apparently I was given the oral antibiotics post operatively due to a mild chest infection - which is news to me. I believe I had antibiotics post op intravenously in any case - so maybe it's just standard procedure.

Then there were the descriptions of the surgery. "Right thorocotomy" means they opened up the right side of my chest, "right middle and lower lobectomy" refers to the two lung lobes removed, "extensive lymphadenectomy" was the removal of lymph nodes but what was a "branchotrachioplasty" I wondered?

Putting "branchotrachioplasty" into Google netted absolutely nothing. I persevered using those handy "did you mean?" prompts that Google gives. It soon dawned on me that once again we have here a medical secretary who either can't spell a procedure correctly or has made an error (two errors in one word in this case!)

It turns out it wasn't 'brancho' but 'broncho' - of the bronchi, of course - it's obvious. Similarly it wasn't 'trachioplasty' but 'tracheoplasty'. The word 'bronchotracheoplasty' - even spelt correctly - exists only twice on Google! Anyway I eventually deduced that it means that I've had restorative surgery to my bronchi and trachea. I'm presuming that this is the bit they do when they seal off the bronchi and trachea so they don't leak. Apparently they blow the remaining lung right up to a significant pressure to ensure there are no leaks. That's another mystery solved then. I must make a note to ask the surgeon when I see him if I contain any metal.

1 comment:

  1. I reckon there's a heck of a lot of mettle in you, Sue!