Lessons from a General Surgeon
Eclectic doesn't do our conversation justice! After talking about gardens, okra, rabbit-proof fences, chickens as an organic insecticide, free-range chicken eggs and deer hunting, our attention turned to medical topics: bacteria, leeches, maggots and physical asymmetry - specifically Lyle Lovett. Here is what the general surgeon had to say.
● Our bodies have more bacteria than cells.
● Leeches and maggots are both medical treatments. The reason they aren't used more frequently isn't because of their effectiveness, but because of their creepy factor.
● Leeches are invaluable in digit and limb reattachments. They have saved fingers, hands, and arms. Surgeons can reattach skin and arteries, but veins not so much. After reattachment surgery the limb gets good perfusion, but the veins can't drain the blood. Engorgement is a complication that can end in the loss of the digit or limb. Leeches drain the blood until the veins can naturally reconnect. They are actually used at our local hospital.
● Maggots are the best debridement tool medicine has. They are sterile and will only eat dead flesh. Definitely comes with the "do-not-try-this-at-home" disclaimer! Maggots should only be used under medical supervision since they have to be removed before they turn into flies.
● Symmetry is an essential component of physical beauty. Although asymmetry is effective as an interior design element, in the human physical form, asymmetry is not considered attractive. There is actually an article on this topic that uses Lyle Lovett as the example. If you look at only one side of his face, he is a handsome man. If you look at the opposite side of his face by itself, he also appears to be an attractive man. But, when you view the two sides together...
All in all, the most entertaining doctor's visit ever!