"Lu Wenbin, where have you been?" The nurse screamed into the phone. She sounded frantic. Furious, even.
Lu Wenbin had set the phone on loudspeaker. He sounded calm and almost triumphant. He chuckled and said, "I'm in the operating theater, I'm almost finished."
"Just almost?" The nurse slammed the receiver down almost immediately. She turned round a corner, opened the door to Operating Theater 2, and barked, "Lu Wenbin, Doctor Ling is about to get started on the next surgery. What's going on here?"
"What, they haven't even started?" Lu Wenbin's euphoria was quickly fading, for he did not like her tone.
The young nurse huffed. "What do you mean they haven't started? The surgery on the patient in Operating Theater 3 is already done, and Doctor Ling is already in Operating Theater 1."
Lu Wenbin almost fell to his knees in amazement.
Naturally, he was working slower than usual today in fear of mistakes, for he took great care in the quality of his work. Even so, he could not be that much faster even if he wanted to be quick.
He was only 'just almost done' suturing a finger, while Ling Ran had already pulled off an entire M-Tang technique procedure.
Lu Wenbin felt as if he had just been delivered a straight hook, one that struck him so hard that he had been knocked unconscious and back to consciousness all at the same time.
"Hey, how much longer do you need here?" the young nurse urged him.
"I will be finished right away. Um... Five minutes, at most, ten minutes." Lu Wenbin was starting to sound a little more sheepish. Suturing fingers was something he often did, but he could not work at superhuman speeds.
The nurse grunted in acknowledgment.
"I'll get moving then. When you're done, head to Operating Theater 2 and start without me."
"Oh, alright..." Lu Wenbin agreed. Then, he asked hesitantly, "Is the surgery in Operating Theater 2 really done? In twenty minutes?"
"Twenty minutes or so," the nurse said smugly.
Lu Wenbin looked down at the patient under his care and thought, 'With such volume and speed, would the quality of each surgery deteriorate? The more surgeries you perform, the more skilled you become or something like that?'
Lu Wenbin thought about it and asked, "When is Doctor Ling starting on the new operation? I will rush over as soon as possible..."
"No, Director Huo has already sent Zheng Pei over."
The nurse lifted her chin and left gracefully like a little swan.
Lu Wenbin's knees lost strength.
Zheng Pei was a senior resident doctor. He was already on the cusp of becoming a chief resident. His stature was way higher than that of Lu Wenbin, yet he had been assigned to be an assistant to Ling Ran. Lu Wenbin surmised that Zheng Pei would more or less be uncomfortable with the situation.
Lu Wenbin leaned back and surveyed the situation from a slightly different perspective.For Huo Congjun, the chief resident was still a resident doctor. When Huo Congjun was free, he would consider the feelings of resident doctors. When Huo Congjun was not free, he would not consider those feelings.
Operating Theater 3.
Zheng Pei was indeed a little uncomfortable.
However, Huo Congjun was eyeing him like a predator, and there was a bunch of department directors from other hospitals staring at him like hawks. Zheng Pei did not dare attempt anything rash.
The word "careful" was no longer adequate to describe a regular doctor in a hospital, especially one who worked under a regular attending physician. It would be more apt to say that they were constantly skating on thin ice.
A doctor's career only bore fruit in the latter stages of a doctor's life. The further they went up the ranks, the more comfortable life would be for them. However, that climb up was full of thorns.
Compared to the consequences of offending the department director, being Ling Ran's assistant was nothing.
Zheng Pei completed his preoperative preparations, dressed himself up neatly, covered his beard, which was as long as his hair, and stood by the operating table.
Ling Ran gave him a single glance before he used the signature pen to trace lines on the patient's hand.
This time, the patient had injured three fingers; one tendon was completely ruptured, one tendon was damaged, and the other finger only needed simple suturing. Huo Congjun could not find anything easier to serve as the fourth surgery on this day that would require the M-Tang technique.
Department Director Bai and the others concentrated on the operating area beneath the shadowless light.
It was time to truly gauge Ling Ran's proficiency level and in extension of that, determine if Huo Congjun's M-Tang technique direction was a viable option. They would then decide whether they would advocate for Huo Congjun's cause without holding back, and even push the case forward to the medical council, or otherwise hold back in case trouble came by their doorsteps.
Ling Ran's mind was filled with various information on the anatomy of the upper limbs. He ignored the eyes that were fixed on him.
He had always been at the center of attention, anyway. No matter what time it was, as long as Ling Ran stood amongst a crowd, he would be a lighthouse, one way or another. The more congested a place was, the more eyes would be trained on him.
Even if the gazes of a certain two or three people in the operating theater leaned towards the lascivious side, it mattered little to Ling Ran.
The scalpel gently swept through the patient's skin. The relatively tough dermal coating on the hand provided little to no resistance. A person would need only look very carefully to see the flesh sink down.
Zheng Pei cast a sideways glance at Ling Ran.
The fiddle bow hold was the most commonly used scalpel-handling form. The thumb would be placed under the handle, and the knife would be operated using the force of the wrist. It was suitable for long cuts, but it lacked finesse.
Of course, it was more than enough to expose the operating field. Zheng Pei was secretly comparing Ling Ran's skill to himself. If he were to use the fiddle bow hold, he should be able to perform an incision at a level similar to Ling Ran. Not one this precise, but if he were to lead the operation, his first choice when it came to an operation of the hand would be the pencil grip.
The point of application for the pencil grip would be the finger. It was suitable for short incisions, and it could perform fine cuts.
If he used the pencil grip, he could perform an even better incision than Ling Ran.
When he thought of this, Zheng Pei felt a little bubble swell up in his chest. Although Ling Ran was only exposing the operating field, this only made a slight difference in the prognosis. Although there was no difference in speed regardless of the grip used to perform the incision, Zheng Pei still felt that he managed to earn back some of his dignity
"Aspiration," Ling Ran said. It was at that moment when Zheng Pei suddenly realized that the operating area had been completely exposed.
As he looked at the brilliantly made and regular operating field, Zheng Pei felt like stroking his beard. After forcibly resisting the urge, he then began to pump aspirating fluid, then helped to disinfect the wound, and covered the wound with saline-soaked dressing...
A surgeon's favorite operating field would be one that was familiar to them. They would always attempt to settle down in the position that provides them the most comfort, creating a controlled operating area, unless they were simply not permitted from doing so.
This was similar to how a normal person would not turn the game upside-down or sideways to play Tetris. However, if there someone actually played Tetris upside-down or sideways from the beginning, it would then be difficult for him to get used to seeing bricks coming from the top.
Ling Ran took some time to organize the operating area.
The work of disinfecting and draping the patient was cumbersome but necessary. Ling Ran did not have much of an advantage in this respect. Most of the time, he would be more than willing to have his assistants complete them.
Department Director Bai and the others' stomachs were beginning to churn with doubts. The exceptional surgery skills they had just witnessed had been unprecedented, until now.
Just as Department Director Bai prepared to turn to Huo Congjun, the atmosphere on the operating table changed dramatically.
Ling Ran pulled out a tendon, then inserted the needle holder
It went in and out, repeatedly.
The faces of the people in the operating theater all changed instantly.
'He just inserted it like that?'
Was there a problem with taking out a tendon and then inserting the needle straight away?
Of course not, but regular doctors would have made some preparations on the tendon first. Some would even prepare the tendon for around twenty to thirty minutes, for it to be submissive to their coming administrations.
However, Ling Ran did not need that. As he tugged at the tendon, he repositioned it and adjusted it to its best state.
That alone was difficult for many people to do.
If they did not have enough skills in this area, they could forget about doing such a thing.
Was there a problem with the repetition of inserting and pulling out the needle?
Of course not. In the end, suturing was all about the process of inserting and withdrawing the needle. But there were several variables that needed care during the process.
The process of the needle being inserted and withdrawn might be the same, but there was a difference in suturing skills between each doctor, and because of it, they would end up with different results, and the results could be as different as heaven was to earth.
Some operations involved more fluids exiting the patient's body; some operations went on longer; some operations exposed the patients to higher risks of damage; some had high operational failure rates; some operations would require more energy; some operations were not easily accepted by the patient...
Therefore, although it was only a simple insertion and withdrawal of the needle, those who performed such operations before were able to immediately tell the quality of the suture.
It was especially so at this time, as Department Director Bai and the others had been observing the surgery from the beginning. They could more accurately grasp Ling Ran's goals. They could understand his operational choices, and thus make due judgments.
Why did he remove a part of the patient's tendon first? Well, that portion had clearly sustained irreversible damage. If that was the case, would the patient be left with too short a tendon? How does one make up for it?
Why was there a need to perform two more blood vessel anastomoses? Because the tissue was too damaged. Ensuring blood supply was necessary. If that was the case, could there be an increase in the chance of tendon adhesion? Was it the correct decision to weigh the pros and cons this way?
The silence was pin-drop, but their thoughts raced in their minds.
For a short period of ten minutes, everyone forgot themselves. They forgot all about politics and power, and simply gazed upon the surgery as doctors
Ten minutes later.
Approximately half an hour after the operation began, everyone gradually snapped out of their daze, and everyday thoughts gradually reemerged in their minds.
'What the hell?!'
Only the Department Director Bai managed to suppress his feelings. A strange thought came to his mind.
"Old Huo, have this Doctor Ling join the conference."
"He is still not qualified enough."
Huo Congjun was laughing so much that his temporomandibular joint was about to fall off.
"Are you brain dead? Think about it, how many committee members of our Maternity and Child Care Hospital are women? And that's just our hospital alone. What about the whole city?" Director Bai looked at Ling Ran's face and shivered. "He's a good doctor. It's wrong of you to keep him in the operating theater all day, you have to show his face to the world!"