...WARNING! VERY GRAPHIC ANATOMY. IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH, PLEASE SKIP THIS POST! We had heard that a major surgery was going to be taking place today and that only two volunteers would be allowed in the OT. A 27 year old male patient had noticed pain in his abdomen and had come in for a checkup. Ultrasound and MRI tests revealed a large solid mass in his lower abdomen. A normal, perfectly healthy looking man quietly entered the OT, acknowledged us and the staff, and lay down on the operating table. He waited patiently and silently with arms stretched out like a crucifix for more than a half hour as latex gloves snapped and dozens of fearsome-looking cold metal tools clanked and scraped.

Like the pedestrians here who fearlessly cross six lanes of frantic highway and passengers who ride on top of heavily-ladened three wheel vehicles, this patient seemed surprisingly unalarmed by the impending danger. His pulse remained a steady 56 and blood pressure only slightly higher than normal as he waited. Once the surgeons entered the OT, all waiting was over. The patient was prepped with the usual procedures. A catheter was started almost immediately using only a Lidocaine lubricant. His pulse was, needless to say, no longer calm. The anesthesiologist removed vials and syringes from his briefcase and began IV injections one after the other, all while talking on his cell phone.

The cutting and cauterizing began as the room slowly filled with the aroma of burning flesh. Once through all of the abdominal layers, the skin was separated and the surgeon immediately pulled up a massive solid mass.

Even the anesthesiologist and technicians were taking pictures. At this point, the removal was fast. The surgeons investigated for more masses but seemed satisfied by their one enormous acquisition and began to suture the man back up.

--Preparing to send the sample off for testing--

Some more scenes from throughout the OT:

--Operating with bare feet in slippers while surrounded by bio-hazards--

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