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Accident like a Road Traffic Accident (RTA), damages the protective cover of the body- the skin, damages and cuts through various deeper tissues like fat, fascia, muscles, bones and internal organs like intestines, bladder, liver, heart, lungs, brain etc. Accident occurs unexpectedly, in dirty surroundings and exposes healthy parts & tissues to contamination by dirt and grime and dirty and bacteria filled atmosphere. There is also considerable blood loss, risk to vital organs & even possibility of fatal outcome.

THIS IS SIMILAR TO WHAT A SURGEON DOES AT A SURGICAL OPERATION ! He cuts through the skin, fat, fascia, muscles and even bone and incises/cuts vital organs and various parts of body. In fact a major surgical operation affects the human body system as much as a serious RTA. Like a wounded animal in the wild, the human body involved in an accident or subjected to a surgical operation has to respond and recover from the effects of the damage almost in similar fashions. The wounded tiger retracts into a remote cave, rests and gradually recovers back to health. The accident victim, however gets medical help, wounds cleaned and repaired, fractures reduced and immobilized, antibiotics given to prevent infection and he rests and gradually recovers. An accident in a weak, old or diseased individual is likely to end with serious complications or fatality!

Decision making in Surgery.
A surgical operation is like a WELL PLANNED ACCIDENT. The “accident”/ surgery is planned after carefully evaluating the patient and bringing him to an optimum and best possible state of general health, so that he will be able to withstand the event well and without any complications and the outcome is successful and beneficial to the patient. The need to perform surgery and the the nature and extent of the operation are matters to be decided by the medical professionals after careful clinical examination, essential and relevant investigations and tests and finally mutual discussion between doctors and the patient and his relatives. The Family Doctor, Surgical Consultant, Medical Specialist, Anaesthesiologist and sometimes additional specialists like Cardiologists, Diabetologists & others are involved in decision making.

The aim of all this elaborate exercise is to decide if surgery is needed to benefit the patient and to make surgery safe to the patient, with minimum of risks taken and with maximum possibility of cure or relief. Sometimes patient can be completely CURED, but now and then there will be only varying degrees of relief, depending on the disease or condition patient is suffering from and to some extent the quality of surgery performed. Failures and complications and rarely serious complications and even fatalities do occur in the best of hands and under the best of circumstances!

No surgery is taken lightly as “Minor” surgery ! Every surgical operations demands due care and respect. A good surgeon should wield the knife sparingly; only if non surgical methods are not available or failed and only if it is going to benefit the patient also.

Next how to make surgery safe for the patient? The skills of the surgeon, facilities essential for surgery and care and precautions necessary after surgery to avoid or minimize complications etc will be discussed in future communications.

Dr. M.Mohan Rao, MBBS, MS, FICS, MCH,
M.D. & Chief Surgeon,
Dr. UMR Memorial Hospital.
962, Poonamallee High Road, Chennai 600084.
Tel. 6424396, 6411621, 6412474.


Updated on 01.01.2013.

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