longest surgery?

  1. Silly questions but have always wanted to ask? What is the longest surgery you have been involved in? And what do you do when you have to pee?
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  2. 34 Comments

  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Longest surgery i've scrubbed on was a multi-level spine fusion where scar tissue was involved.

    If i have to pee, i ask for 5 minute relief.
  4. by   zerby1470
    Leaking AAA, on call. 13 hours, from setup to close. There was no relief available. Thank goodness I didn't need to go.
  5. by   CIRQL8
    Longest procedure that I have heard of here at my place - 20 hour brain tumor - forgot what kind and what location. Multiple staff, though - no one without a break for over 5 hours or so...

    Longest procedure that I have been in myself - 3-finger digit re-attachment. I was working the over-night when the clock turned bach an hour - so nine and one-half hours. If I had to pee, I excused myself for a couple of minutes (no one to relieve me). Most of the procedure was tedious work under the microscope, and all I was doing was watching and talking. Very little running, etc. Was a good case, but a long case. Pt came back three days later for amputation. Sad case. Don't EVER let them have me under anesthesia for 9+ hours for something that won't work.
  6. by   TracyB,RN
    How about a 4 hour trach?
    That's the best I've got for now.
    Some cases feel like weeks, LOL
    I guess if I had to go that bad I would briefly step out of the room & pray nothing went wrong.
    At least on day shift, someone is usually around to give you a few minutes.
  7. by   Bibagirl
    12 hour coronary bypass. Patient could not get off bypass and ultimately died in the OR, sad case. Always pee right before the case, and if it's a long one, and you must go again, wait till the time is best, and just say you have to go for a quick bathroom break, and then run!
  8. by   tessa_RN
    Well the longest case I have been scrubbed in was a radical neck dissection..We started at 8 and I got lunch around 1 ate lunch and came back and left at 3:15..But Ive done nothing over that..Ive done a 6hr tummy tuck with no relief..But out of all the surgeries I think the worst one was when I got called in to scrub a SGB and I held the scope for 3 1/2 hours no joke..I thought that case was never going to end..
  9. by   ewattsjt
    Multi level spinal fusion. As busynurse said always go before the start of the case; need to or not, still go! There are certain times to ask for the potty break. We only have one spine surgeon and he says when it is a good time or not. Also he doesn't allow room traffic, which decreases your chance to break scrub to lunch and a potty break.

    Most other general cases are very quick so there isn't a real problem with potty breaks.
  10. by   drmrnfla
    Scrubbed for an Aortic Dissection, for 14 hours. Pt. would not come off bypass, so surgeon harvested mammary for LAD bypass,, then harvested saphenous vein for RCA bypass, didn't work, pt. eventually expired on table. Took pee break during rewarming of pt. after dissection repair.
  11. by   RNOTODAY
    a free flap, it lasted 18 hours.
  12. by   brainnurse
    One time I took pity on a surgeon who'd been scrubbed over ten hours and still had a long way to go. I took him in the substerile and held a urinal for him.
  13. by   HeatherB,CST
    My brother recently had a kidney/pancreas transplant that took 13 hrs. On top of that, the same surgeon & team had already flown 300 miles across the state to do the procurement earlier in the day...that team worked on this one case for about 24 hours with maybe an hour break before the transplant surg.

    Later that month, two docs spent 6 hours trying to get a central line in him (lots of scar tissue from previous PermaCaths). They let me stay in the room, masked, and watch the whole time, while the Dr. Vascular talked Dr. Resident through each attempt! That was the night I knew for sure I wanted to scrub. I'm starting ST program in the fall!
  14. by   lily_lover
    I work the night shift, so there's no one to relieve me from 11p-7a. We had a fem pop that lasted the entire time. I felt really bad for the patient, he had had bilateral knees done earlier that day, and then ended up with a cold leg. We knew going into the case it would be a long one, just didn't think it would last all night.

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