When Ling Ran was halfway through replanting the third finger, Fei Zhou finally finished his first finger replantation.
The remaining two fingers were on the right hand. Even if Fei Zhou wanted to squeeze in to help, he could not. Fei Zhou could only force down his grievance and give up his space.
Ling Ran quietly performed his own tasks. He did not even raise his head.
Even if Ling Ran had experience, performing a surgery that required meticulous control for four hours would still make him feel mentally exhausted. He felt as though he was near his limit.
This feeling was similar to how a triathlete would feel when he or she was three quarters, or even halfway through the race. Even if the athlete trained often, he or she would still feel incredibly exhausted during the race.
But compared to him, Chief Physician Wang Haiyang was even more tired. He was the oldest among the four groups of doctors, and he was in control of the entire surgery's progress. The addition of the great pressure on his shoulders also made him feel completely drained once he was finished dealing with the finger assigned to him.
Wang Haiyang could not help but recall the last time he was this exhausted. Then, he looked at Ling Ran.
Not too long ago, Ling Ran had served as his assistant. His experience of carrying out finger replantations with Ling Ran was something Wang Haiyang could not forget. On that day, Wang Haiyang also set a new record for himself in performing finger replantation surgery.
Of course, that was a record in speed which was meaningful to Wang Haiyang alone, but was meaningless to other people.
"Chief Physician Wang, should I perform finger replantation on the right middle finger?" Fei Zhou had been waiting. He already saw the middle finger's X-ray scan, and he hoped to perform another finger replantation once a spot was cleared.
As the associate chief physician who performed the most finger replantation surgeries in Yun Hua Hospital, Fei Zhou was very confident that if he performed another finger replantation right then, he would be faster, and the quality of his finger replantation would also be quite stable.
But Wang Haiyang did not give Fei Zhou the chance. "I'll do it."
He was the person in charge of the entire surgery. There was no reason for him to leave the operating table.
Fei Zhou could do nothing about it. Chief Physician Wang Haiyang was considered his superior, and the communication between surgeons was always so straightforward that it made others uncomfortable.
Fei Zhou stood aside sullenly. He watched Wang Haiyang, Guo Jianming, and Ling Ran operate…
Most of them watched Ling Ran's operation.
Master Level Appositional Suturing, Master Level Perineurium Anastomosis, Perfect Level Finger Replantation, experience from three thousand hand dissections, and Master Level MRI Analysis on Four Limbs. When all these skills were used together, Ling Ran did not bring out an impressive, explosive display of technique, but a continuous stream of activating, powerful skills.
His tendon anastomosis had great strength and was highly stable, and he used an extremely thin thread to perform blood vessel anastomosis; he achieved success in one go, and the end product was just like a large blood vessel. The pairing of nerves during his nerve anastomosis was accurate, and his suturing speed was also quick.
He made each step seem simple and look as though no peculiar difficulties appeared, as if it was only natural that it was so easy.
When the doctors at the side had observed for a long time, they even felt as though they were watching a simple debridement and suturing procedure in the treatment room. After all, Ling Ran looked relaxed, and the surgery was progressing, smooth and steady. This situation would usually only appear in incredibly easy surgeries.
However, why would other people run into all kinds of problems when they performed finger replantation surgeries, and yet Ling Ran did not? Once the doctors thought of this problem, they became restless and uneasy at once.
Technique was indeed important, and Ling Ran's clinical decisions also made the doctors quiet. Each person's decision would bring about an effect. The effect surgeons made were especially clear.
When they severed too much of the blood vessel during debridement, then they might have to face the possibility of the blood vessel not being long enough at the end, and they would have to do a transplant. If they severed too little of the blood vessel to avoid a blood vessel transplant, then they might have to face the possibility of blood vessel infection, or a failure to reach blood vessel anastomosis…
Making the right decision was easy in theory, but it was difficult in reality.
If there was a person who could repeatedly look back into the past and recall nonstop what he did during a particular surgery, then could he possibly perform a perfect surgery?
Of course it was impossible.
First of all, a surgeon would have to spend ten years hard at work before he could perform one minute of surgery on an operating table. One decision could affect something that would happen two seconds or even two years later, and it was useless to regret their decisions, no matter how much they want to.
Secondly, there was no such thing as a perfect surgery. However, Ling Ran had performed a near-perfect surgery in front of their eyes. Ling Ran also did his best to perform a perfect surgery.
"Ling Ran," Wang Haiyang suddenly called, "Are you almost done?"
Ling Ran did not reply for two seconds, as if he was trying hard to snap out of the focused state he had fallen into while suturing. He then said, "I'm performing nerve anastomosis now. Also, we might need to perform a skin graft here."
A skin graft meant a skin transplant. They needed to cut out a portion of the skin from the patient's body and replace it on the part that was missing. By doing so, both parts could grow back, and it was beneficial for recovery.
However, compared to the suturing of normal skin, the suturing of grafted skin meant that the workload and level of difficulty in sutures would also increase. Ma Yanlin was no longer suitable to perform this operation.
Wang Haiyang nodded. He said, "Once you finish the nerve anastomosis, hand over the skin sutures to Doctor Kang and come help me."
Kang Jiuliang, who was serving as Wang Haiyang's first assistant, cast Ling Ran an indecipherable glance. He lowered his head and did not say a word.
After a while, Ling Ran completed the nerve anastomosis, and exchanged places with Chief Physician Kang Jiuliang.
If it was any other time, Kang Jiuliang who had exceptional surgical skill could be the chief surgeon of slightly easier surgeries. Being a first assistant was already making him suffer an injustice. He did not expect that he would even be held in disdain over his skills by Wang Haiyang. And he had to let the younger, more handsome, and taller Ling Ran take over his place.
However, he could not fight back.
Ling Ran had already performed hundreds of surgeries using the M-Tang technique. He even showed incredible proficiency in finger replantation surgeries. Kang Jiuliang also felt embarrassed to say anything about Wang Haiyang's decision of wanting Ling Ran to help him.
The operating theater was as quiet as a meeting room.
Only the sound of the surgical drill buzzed in their ears, like the lectures from their leaders…
Ling Ran changed from a chief surgeon to Wang Haiyang's first assistant. From a person who held the needle holder, he became someone who guided the thread, but he did not feel like he could not adapt to the situation, neither did he think that Wang Haiyang had gone overboard.
To Ling Ran, this change in position was just a simple change in the spot he stood on. Ling Ran seldom thought about a doctor's status. In fact, he refused to think about it.
When he was younger and had joined the choir, his teacher naturally made him stand in the center. When he showed clear signs that he did not want to sing, his teacher made sure he knew that he would rather have Ling Ran stand in the center and lip-sync rather than have Ling Ran leave the choir. It was also from that moment on that Ling Ran knew the importance of a space was not as important as the person occupying the space itself.
When Ling Ran stood in the position of the first assistant, he did not only do simple tasks such as threading the needle and guiding the thread.
He had worked together with Wang Haiyang before, and he was familiar with his operation. He could also make up for his inadequacies.
During the period of time when Wang Haiyang was exhausted, Ling Ran's speed and skill in his operation became much faster and greater.
China's first child finger replantation was on the 24th of October, 1979, People's Liberation Army 401 Hospital. It was performed by the great surgeon, Cheng Guoliang, but the surgery was forty-two hours long, and they had to perform a total of four finger replantations. In the end, the surgery was marked a failure because the index finger did not survive.
Forget forty-two hours, Wang Haiyang did not even have the stamina to last four hours; if he performed surgery for four hours, he would be utterly exhausted. Wang Haiyang called Ling Ran over because he wanted Ling Ran to help him if he was too exhausted.
Another half an hour later, Wang Haiyang became completely drained. So he signaled to Ling Ran and said, "Go and suture the artery."
They were at the last part of their own surgery. There was no need for them to speed up their procedure to the finish, since the others were still performing theirs. Ling Ran could also suture more blood vessels in the finger they were replanting.
"Okay," said Ling Ran, and he picked up the needle holder. He only used a few minutes to suture that blood vessel.
"I'll suture a vein as well?" Ling Ran turned over the child's ring and middle fingers. Compared to a patient who lost only one or two fingers, losing eight in one go made recovery incredibly difficult, because there were no fingers that could take over the place of the other fingers during rehabilitation.
It was easy to imagine just how much harder and more painful rehabilitation would be for the child.
Right then, the act of suturing multiple blood vessels in one go allowed Ling Ran to increase the recovery rate of the patient's hand as much as possible, which would mean that he could also retain the hand's functionality as best as he could.
Wang Haiyang was naturally not against it. He allowed Ling Ran to perform anastomosis on four blood vessels, as well as the even more difficult perineurium anastomosis.
The surgery had already progressed for over five hours. Ling Ran finished suturing the left middle finger, ring finger, and little finger. He also helped Wang Haiyang suture half of the right hand middle finger.
The entire process could be said to have been incredibly dreary. However, the number of doctors who gathered in the operating theater or the waiting room to watch the live broadcast increased.
Finger replantations had always been the highest form of surgery in the Hand Surgery Department, and they had also performed many cases of it. To the doctors in Yun Hua Hospital's Hand Surgery Department, the frequency of when they watched finger replantation surgeries was higher than the frequency of when they watched movies.
Some people would write movie reviews only after watching movies for a few years, and they were bold with their words when they did so. Clinicians who had practiced medicine for years and had performed surgeries before would have even more thoughts in regards to finger replantations. Everyone could not hold themselves back from voicing their opinions. The emotions in their words were contagious and touched the hearts of those who heard them. They were strategically spoken, straight to the point, concise, and contained deep insight.
"So wicked cool!"
"It's seriously so friggin' awesome!"