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A minor eye operation brings medicine into focus - Elf M. Sternberg
A minor eye operation brings medicine into focus
I went in for ophthalmologic surgery yesterday. I had a "growth" on my eyelid, and only opthamologists are allowed to cut in that general area, so I went and had them trim it off. It could be a mole, or just a "tag," or it could be something more serious. Avoiding "serious" is why insurance companies are willing to pay for the removal of things like that.

Everyone who treated me was a woman. As UW Medicine is part of a teaching school, along with the surgeon there was an intern, a trainee nurse, an intake nurse, a set-up nurse, and a check-out nurse. All women. The only man I interacted with was the receptionist.

I was okay with that.

The set-up nurse brought in the tray of surgical equipment, then left, then came back with two 5ml syringes of local anaesthetic. Two of them. 5ml is a lot. I'm pretty sure there isn't 5ml of blood in my whole eyelid. The surgeon didn't use either one; just a swab of topical anaesthetic and a drop of something to make my eye laze away from the eyelid, so that the actual vision part wasn't at risk. That was it.

When it was over, the check-out nurse began cleaning up the place, and she just picked up the two syringes and dumped them, whole, medication and all, into the sharps container.

If you've ever wondered why medicine in America costs a lot, that may be part of the reason.

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Current Mood: sore sore

1 comment or Leave a comment
en_ki From: en_ki Date: December 4th, 2015 07:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
5ml lidocaine: $0.05
5 minutes of surgical staff time: $400
1 comment or Leave a comment