Friday, 19 November 2010

This had me in stitches

Fantastic! Found a video that shows how to do subcuticular suturing, which I believe is the technique Mr A used to suture my back-skin areola to the breast-skin envelope after mastectomy and LD reconstruction. The stitches are hidden under the skin for cosmetic reasons — to minimise scarring on the new breast. I'm in a quest now to find a suitable replacement fabric for skin to show people how it's done — I know from experience that fuzzy felt, sponge balls and orange peel don't work.

As luck would have it, I'm doing an orange surgery workshop on 13th December, and the Royal College of Surgeons is interested in meeting both me and Mr A and doing a write-up on our collaboration.  I've asked if they wouldn't mind bringing me one of their fake arms to work on. A bit of a cheek, I know, but I've been to their gaff and they've got all sorts of interesting bits and pieces to help teach suturing to novices, without using, y'know, real skin. I'm hoping I can wheedle a breast out of the arm-maker at one point. Don't be alarmed — this might sound a bit Burke and Hare, but I've found understanding and playing with anatomy and surgical techniques have made me feel a whole lot better about my body. And I'd like to pass that on.

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