Septoplasty, et. al.

I underwent my very first surgery this afternoon. The observant reader will recall this was supposed to happen “nearly a month ago”:http://joeyday.com/2004/09/28/under-the-knife. I couldn’t get October 12 off work at ContentWatch, so in early October I rescheduled the surgery to today. I’ve been meaning to edit that post but never got around to it.

Going Under

I’ve never been placed under general anesthesia before. I was a bit nervous, understandably, but the doctors and nurses were very amicable and reassuring. The nurse who started my IV even administered a local anasthetic so the needle wouldn’t hurt. She was good; it went in first try and never had a problem. I sat in the waiting room for at least a half hour after that, and had to use the restroom just before the surgery on account of all the electrolytes they pumped in.

After answering a few questions from the anesthesiologist and getting a helpful briefing from my doctor, I was wheeled into the operating room and strapped to the table. The anesthesiologist mentioned she was administering the medication that would put me under, and, sure enough, I was out like a light in 30 seconds.

The Persistence of Memory[1]

Anesthesia is a strange thing. I’ve heard from others that there seems to be no passage of time while you’re under, and I can now personally attest to that. I do remember having a couple of dreams before I woke up, but I think those happened when I was waking in the recovery room. I was pretty groggy, and it felt like I’d only been asleep about a half hour when I finally came to. Against my internal clock, a full 90 minutes had passed since they had wheeled me into the OR.

The Big Picture

Things were uneventful from the doctors’ point of view, but quite fascinating from mine. The doctor successfully performed a “Septoplasty”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septoplasty and an “Adenoidectomy”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adenoid, trimmed my aparently oversized “turbinates”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turbinate, widened the openings to my frontal “paranasal sinuses”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranasal_sinus, cauterized some of the inside of my nose, and removed various chunks of trapped snotty goo. I’ve now got two teflon splints sutured on either side of my septum to keep it in place while everything heals. Those will be removed on Monday. I’m a little sore — nothing a little “Lortab”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrocodone can’t fix, though. :)

The primary aim of this procedure was to keep sinus infection down — something that has been plaguing me for several years now. Other nice side effects include the control of “Epistaxis”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistaxis and overall easier breathing.

fn1. For the curious, this is the title of “Salvador Dalì’s most famous painting”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Persistence_of_Memory.