How Surgeons Stay Focused For Hours

Discussion in 'General Surgery' started by Mahmoud Abudeif, Jul 31, 2019.

  1. Mahmoud Abudeif

    Mahmoud Abudeif Golden Member

    Mar 5, 2019
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    Surgeons possess a unique combination of skills — both mental and physical — that enable them to perform complex, life-saving procedures.

    A liver transplant surgery, for example, can take eight to 10 hours, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Surgeons are standing the whole time, hunched over their patients, limiting time spent eating, drinking or using the restroom. In addition to maintaining unyielding focus for hours on end, transplant surgeons must always be ready to operate, as in many cases, organs must be transplanted as soon as they become available.

    Here are five strategies transplant surgeons from New York City-based Montefiore Einstein Center for Transplantation employ to ensure they have the mental and physical stamina in the operating room, according to The Wall Street Journal.

    1. Limit distractions. No one checks cell phones in the operating room during a transplant surgery. Surgeons also often were loupes attached to eye glasses to magnify what they are looking at, which limits their field of vision to just a few inches, according to the report.

    2. Create a stress-reducing environment. Milan Kinkhabwala, MD, chief of transplant surgery at the center, part of the Montefiore Health System, told The Wall Street Journal he likes to play music in the OR, which he says reduces stress and fatigue.

    3. Be comfortable. Transplant surgeons opt for comfortable shoes, such as clogs or sneakers, to minimize pain and discomfort while standing for hours. "I have super-tight support stockings and I can stand for 10 hours without being tired," said Sarah Bellemare, MD, a liver transplant surgeon at Montefiore Medical Center.

    4. Stay physically fit. Surgeons who are physically strong and have lots of stamina will be better equipped to stave off fatigue and prevent soreness during long surgical procedures. Jay Graham, MD, a transplant surgeon at Montefiore, said he now practices yoga for an hour each morning and runs at least 30 miles per week. He also follows a vegan diet, according to the report.

    5. Seek spiritual fulfillment. Some of the Montefirore transplant surgical staff said having a sense of spirituality has helped them prevent burnout and do their jobs effectively. Stuart Greenstein, MD, who has been a transplant surgeon for 30 years, credits his faith as an Orthodox Jew, as well as the bonds he establishes with his patients, for his ability to work. Attasit Chokechanachaisakul, MD, said his faith as a Buddhist and daily meditation practice help him stay calm under pressure.


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