What happens inside an operating room during a surgery? Unless you’re a doctor, nurse, or the patient, you probably have no idea. But students recently got the inside (and we mean, really inside) view during a field trip to the Museum. As Dr. Alejandro Badia, of the Badia Hand to Shoulder Center and OrthoNOW Orthopedic Urgent Care, performed a thumb arthroscopy, students from Archbishop Curley-Notre Dame High School watched via videoconference in the Museum’s Best Buy Teen Tech Center. The patient had come to Dr. Badia with arthritis pains in the basal joint (at the base of the thumb, by the wrist). This is caused by damage to the cartilage, which would normally act as a kind of cushion between the bones.
During the procedure, Dr. Badia made two small incisions on the thumb side of the wrist. He inserted a tiny camera into the wrist, so that he could see as he worked to fix the arthritis. He then inserted a “shaver” to clean away inflamed tissue, then made a small cut into the bone itself, so that it would again sit correctly in the joint. Finally, he put a pin across the joint, to allow it to heal properly. And students were able to see it all, with the help of the camera inside the patient’s wrist, and live x-ray technology.
Before, during, and after the surgery, students were able to ask Dr. Badia questions and have them answered live. They were interested in the anatomy, the surgical tools and technology, as well as medicine as a career path. Dr. Badia’s surgical team, including the physician assistant, scrub tech, circulating nurse, and anesthesiologist, also answered students’ questions, giving them a broader perspective on the various medical career paths possible.
After signing off from Dr. Badia and his team, the students continued their field trip by practicing stitching techniques firsthand, by stitching up “wounds” on bananas. This field trip was all about “hands-on” experiences!