The first real cut… First solo surgery on a rabbit! (Day 562)

Encapsulated abcess removal in rabbit

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Supreme Petfoods Rabbit Feeds

Scalpel. Cut. Disect. Check breathing. Cut. Ligate. Check breathing. Ligate. Disect. Today I found the zone. The place inside where surgeons can operate with everything else going on. Where the world doesn’t exist. Where it’s just you, your assistant and the patient. Where there are no distractions. Where the only thing that matters is the patient. Where you put every ounce of knowledge to the test. Where you test everything you’ve ever learnt.

Today I was given my first solo (supervised) surgical procedure. The first time where I picked up the scalpel to start, and passed the needle through the skin to close. Where I had to decide if it was connective tissue, blood vessel or abscess that needed to come out.

I can barely put into words how amazing it was, the rabbit started with an encapsulated abscess, this means it had a outer chamber like a pocket surrounding all the fluid inside it. And in this case it had multiple pockets as well so before I got there the doctor tried draining these however it was a losing battle. I was asked if I wanted to do it instead and we made a decision that we would remove all the abcess tissue from the area which would also prevent the problem recurring.

Now I have assisted in some tumour removals in rats which is the same basic principle of seperating the tissue that you want to remove from everything else. This I was expecting to be easier however because the abcess had been previously drained it was a little more complicated to seperate the different tissues and there were some veins involved passing through the abcess site. I believe I got it all though as I could not palpate anything else, however because it was a dirty surgery we did decide to keep the rabbit on antibiotics because of the risk of subsequent infection.

I feel amazing, its a rush, and I love it! Absolutely perfect ending to an amazing week of vet school! Sorry for the gross photo which doesn’t do the size of it justice.

Encapsulated abcess removal in rabbit