A surgeon is doing a Toupe procedure, an operation to prevent esophageal reflux, and [I guess] damages the colon and pancreas. A medical student is tweeting the progress of the surgery and taking questions from surgeons all over the country. The chief of surgery finds out about this because students who are ostensibly watching a case he is doing are following the tweeting case on their phones. During the surgery, the Twitter surgeon takes a break to have a milkshake and runs into the chief of surgery in the cafeteria. He tells her to stop tweeting during the procedure because he is worried about the medicolegal ramifications. She goes back to the OR and finds a leaking pseudoaneurysm of the splenic artery which necessitates a total pancreatectomy. She disobeys the order not to tweet and gets a number of helpful suggestions and insightful questions from the Twitterverse of surgeons. She realizes that removal of the entire pancreas will create a diabetes problem. To address that, she helicopters over to Tacoma Methodist to pick up the equipment to extract islet cells from the removed pancreas for injection into the portal vein. The chief of surgery receives a shout-out from a former resident via Twitter and is now converted to an avid Twitter supporter.
How the audience of Twitter surgeons found out that this case was ongoing was not stated.
I have never in my 40 years of surgery seen a surgeon take a milkshake break during a case.
Disobeying the chief of surgery’s orders is a good way to see what the job market is like.
In the world of fantasy which is television, there are surgeons at Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins and Emory who apparently have nothing else to do that day and are glued to their computers/smartphones breathlessly anticipating every twist and turn of the procedure.
Total pancreatectomy is rarely indicated even for gunshot wounds. She must have really screwed up the surgery to end up needing to do that.
It is not clear how the staff at Seattle Grace [the hospital of Grey’s Anatomy] is to be inserviced on islet cell extraction and transplantation.
Oh by the way, is there going to be a morbidity and mortality conference to discuss the colon and pancreas injuries during a simple procedure for esophageal reflux?
Other than those few issues, the episode was pretty realistic.