Mary Mickey, RN

Clinical Manager
Start Date: 1981

SURGERY THEN AND NOW

Everything about surgery has been compressed since 1981, when I joined the Hospital Center staff. From the length of stay to the length of the incisions - everything is shorter or smaller! In 1981, patients always came in to the hospital a full day early for pre-op classes and tests. Today, all of this is done in the physician's office before a procedure, and patients have their surgery on the same day they are admitted in most cases.

Post-op stays are also shorter. Patients who had prostate surgery, for example, used to be hospitalized for three to five days. Now many surgical patients are in and out in just a single day.

As for incisions, we used to use a 5-inch incision for gall bladder surgery when I first started nursing. Now it's performed with a scope through three, small, half-inch incisions. And removal of uterine fibroids is also performed through a scope with tiny incisions instead of one large abdominal opening. The next phase is robotic surgery, which also uses a small surgical incision.

I never thought surgery would come so far and be so different today than when I started in 1981. But the Hospital Center has kept up to date with the changes and prepared all of us well to stay current with new technology. It's been exciting to be part of these advances, and I'm proud to be an employee of the Hospital Center.