I am often asked by friends what goes through my mind when I operate, and how I feel about being a surgeon. At times, I think patients are curious as well.
To me, the body is a temple, and to lay hands on the body is to enter that temple. There is an element of spirituality and mindfulness that goes with being a surgeon, and so I allow a few moments of personal pause before I begin operating. At that time, there is a complete commitment to achieving the absolute best for the patient in front of me; nothing else matters.
I am surrounded by very experienced, talented and wonderful staff. Lyn McDonald, my nurse consultant has many years experience in dealing with patients having this surgery. She can read an MRI and an x-ray like any good orthopaedic surgeon. Lyn’s value to me – and to our patients – is absolutely unmatched. I am also fortunate to have outstanding assistant surgeons and a core group of experienced Mater Hospital theatre nurses and ward staff who know my operating routine well. I work with a small team of anaeasthetists who are thorough and understand we want to minimise pain and have the smallest physiological impact during surgery and in the first few days. Anaesthetists use latest techniques so we can get patients up and about as quickly as possible.
Cardiologists, rehabilitation physicians, physiotherapists and other specialists provide expertise and care to patients, which means we ensure that patients are well monitored and cared for at every stage. I am extremely grateful for their dedication and service.
After all the discussion and work we do, it is an extraordinarily satisfying feeling to see a patient walk in at the six-week post operative check up, with a great result and free of pain. It really is a journey the patient and I take together; it is indeed an honour and a pleasure.