It was 5:20 AM.
Clad in a large white coat, Department Associate Director Pan "happened to" pass by the rehabilitation rooms. When he walked into Rehabilitation Room 4, he saw a few patients, who had woken up early, carrying out rehabilitation exercises and enduring immense pain.
Zheng Qi was one of them. Department Associate Director Pan's elder sister, Pan Jinyue was next to him.
"How do you feel?" Once Department Associate Director Pan was sure that the doctor in charge had left, he immediately went forward to greet them.
"We can't tell." Pan Jinyue was not in a good mood. She suppressed her emotions and asked, "He was only sutured twelve hours ago. Should he be doing rehabilitation exercises now? Is the doctor you recommended really reliable?"
"Shh." Department Associate Director Pan gestured with his finger. He looked around and said, "Didn't I tell you not to talk about me in the Emergency Department?"
Pan Jinyue snorted.
Department Associate Director Pan sighed and said, "If Ling Ran were not a good surgeon, would I have gone through so much trouble to arrange for him to perform surgery on Zheng Qi?"
Actually, this was something he was not willing to admit. But at that moment, he had to convince his sister and the brother-in-law of his choice, so he was forced to lower his pride.
His sister was already rather upset that Pan Hua did not personally carry out the surgery. Department Associate Director Pan was afraid that her thoughts would run wild.
Pan Jinyue's mind was a mess at the moment, and she was not as sharp-witted as she usually was. "But… is it really suitable for a doctor to insist that a patient begin rehabilitation exercises right after surgery?"
Even though Zheng Qi said nothing, his gaze visibly indicated that he was paying attention to the conversation between his wife and brother-in-law.
Patients would always feel horrible the day after surgery. Zheng Qi had spent a few hours screaming and a few more hours being under anesthesia the day before. He did not even get a good night's sleep after surgery and had to carry out rehabilitation exercises immediately after. Right then, he looked so haggard that he did not even look human anymore.
"Can't he wait another day before he begins his rehabilitation?" All you doctors aren't considerate at all, " Pan Jinyue said begrudgingly.
"Let me put it this way..." Pan Hua sighed and said, "Normally, rehabilitation only starts twenty-four hours after surgery."
"Huh?" Pan Jinyue pounded the table and stood up. "Does the young man intend to harm us?"
"Take a seat, take a seat." Pan Hua looked around sneakily like a thief. "Let me finish what I have to say."
Even though Pan Hua managed to make Pan Jinyue sit down, she still looked very annoyed.
Zheng Qi sat down too. His eyebrows were tightly furrowed.
"It's actually not a bad thing to start rehabilitation now," Pan Hua said in resignation.
Pan Jinyue arched an eyebrow and looked at him.
"It is indeed very dangerous for a patient to start rehabilitation only twelve hours after surgery, as there is a certain probability that the sutured tendon would split. However, by beginning rehabilitation now, the probability of adhesion is greatly lowered. The results would be a lot better than if you begin rehabilitation after twenty-four hours. In other words, as long as the tendon doesn't split, the recovery of the hand will be even better." After he said this, Pan Hua looked at his sister and brother-in-law before he continued, "Why do I say this isn't a bad thing? The chief surgeon knows Zheng Qi's situation better than I do. Since he has the confidence to let him begin rehabilitation only twelve hours after surgery, what does it imply? It means that he's very confident in the suturing, isn't it?"
Pan Jinyue asked, "What if the tendon splits?"
Pan Hua answered honestly, "If the tendon splits, a second surgery would have to be carried out. But the strength of the stitches will definitely not be as strong as the first time. When that happens, the palm's motor ability will definitely not reach the standard criteria."
Pan Jinyue, who was quite convinced by Pan Hua's words earlier, immediately became uncertain again. She thought about it and asked, "Hua'er, how would you arrange Zheng Qi's rehabilitation if you were the chief surgeon?"
Pan Hua had actually thought about this matter. At that moment, he thought about it again before saying, "If I were the chief surgeon, I would likely arrange for him to start rehabilitation exercises thirty-six hours after the surgery."
"Because I'm also afraid that the newly-sutured tendon would split." After he said this, Pan Hua looked at Zheng Qi and said, "For ordinary patients of mine with injuries such as Zheng Qi's, if there are no problems during the surgery, I would arrange for rehabilitation to begin around thirty hours after. But when doctors treat their own relatives, they are always thinking about seeking advantages and avoiding disadvantages. This may not produce the best results.
Both his sister and brother-in-law were silent.
They were talking about Zheng Qi's hand, and the results would affect his life. None of them wanted to take even the tiniest bit of risk.
Compared to the risk of tendon splitting, the risk of adhesion was not so imminent. If you looked at the consequences, the effects of adhesion were not really that unacceptable.
Plus, if given the chance, Pan Hua would also prioritize minimizing the risk of splitting over the risk of adhesion just like he said. This would be even more so for his sister and brother-in-law, who had no medical knowledge.
The saying that concern led to impaired judgment was apparent in this scenario.
Pan Hua felt that from a relative's perspective, it was very hard for him to clearly see the advantages and disadvantages of beginning rehabilitation so early.
Besides, since he did not participate in the surgery, he did not know how the surgery went exactly. He did not know how strong the stitches were or if there were any contusions. He was really not in a position to judge the situation.
"When the chief surgeon demands something, it's better if the patient complies with it," Pan Hua only uttered these words after thinking about it for a while.
At the same time, Pan Hua could not help but recall himself watching the video of Ling Ran carrying out surgery. He also remembered the last surgery Ling Ran performed.
The M-Tang technique had always been celebrated for the strength of its stitches. And to fully utilize the advantages of that strength, rehabilitation had to begin as early as possible.
Patients usually began rehabilitation three days after surgery if they received traditional suturing techniques. In some cases, patients may begin rehabilitation earlier—two days after surgery. The M-Tang technique was the only suturing technique where patients get to begin rehabilitation twenty-four hours after surgery.
In Yun Hua, Ling Ran strongly advocated for the patients who underwent surgery performed using the M-Tang technique to begin rehabilitation even earlier... Ling Ran actually did not even spend any effort advocating it, because he was not from the Hand Surgery Department and he called all the shots in the Emergency Department's M-Tang technique project team.
If this had happened in the Hand Surgery Department, the department would not even let the patient begin rehabilitation after twenty-four hours, let alone twelve hours. They held on to their traditions firmly. It was even possible that all the patients in the department would be placed under the same rehabilitation strategy. This was a recurring problem in the large departments of huge hospitals, as bureaucracy would always rear its head without people noticing it.
Pan Hua's thoughts had been running wild. When he focused his attention on the present moment again, his thoughts became clear. He said, "Sister, brother-in-law, even though Ling Ran looks young, he has actually performed a few hundred surgeries that were exactly the same. From what I know, none of his patients' tendons have split post-surgery. So, you guys don't have to be too worried."
"In cases where the tendons don't split, early rehabilitation is good, right?" Pan Hua's brother-in-law, Zheng Qi asked.
Pan Hua nodded solemnly.
"All right, then we'll do what the doctor says." Zheng Qi decided easily.
Since her husband had come to a decision, Pan Jinyue breathed a long sigh of relief. She then wiped away her tears and said, "In that case, let's work hard during the rehabilitation and strive to regain normal hand function."
"Yup, I'll work hard for the rehabilitation." Zheng Qi's hand trembled as he smiled.
Even though Pan Hua also smiled, his thoughts painted a different picture. 'It is extremely hard to regain normal hand function.'
However, he could not say something like that out loud.
After his sister and brother-in-law calmed down a little, Pan Hua accompanied them as Zheng Qi carried out his rehabilitation exercises. He also taught them some basic stuff.
Early postoperative rehabilitation exercises were very simple and mainly made up of passive hand movements, such as the flexion as well as the extension of the palm. However, because the patients were no longer under anesthesia and felt more pain, the fear often prevented patients from reaching the standard quality and quantity required of the rehabilitation exercises.
Pan Hua accompanied them as Zheng Qi completed one round of rehabilitation exercises. He then gave some advice to the rehabilitation room's nurse before returning to his office.
Since the Emergency Department's M-Tang technique project team was borrowing the Hand Surgery Department's rehabilitation room, the nurse was naturally from the Hand Surgery Department. Pan Hua just needed to tell the nurse that Zheng Qi was his relative for the nurse to take care of Zheng Qi well.
After Pan Hua exited the rehabilitation area, his mood became slightly better. As he was contemplating whether to get a few subordinates to perform a ward round with him so that he could release some of his anxiety, Huo Congjun with his shiny hair, walked straight towards him.
Huo Congjun looked at Pan Hua with a bright smile, appearing as though he just "happened" to pass by.
"Department Director Huo..." Pan Hua felt an inexplicable surge of panic as he greeted Huo Congjun.
"Are you here to visit your relative?" Huo Congjun smiled.
Pan Hua could only brace himself and replied, "Yes."
Huo Congjun flashed another smile and said, "Don't worry, we'll definitely take good care of your relative."
"Thank you very much."
"Look at you… It's our responsibility. It's what we should do." Huo Congjun waved his hand with a smile like a fortune cat  and watched as Pan Hua left.