There was a suspicious growing brown growth on my left chest. It was around 0.5 x0.5 cm x 0.2cm. As I do advise pet owners to get growths removed when they are small, esp. for older pets, I practise what I preach. So, today, Monday, Nov 28, 2011, at 7.15 am, I was at the Ambulatory Surgical Centre of the Singapore General Hospital to remove "verrucca" as stated by my surgeon. Last week, I saw a nurse from China googling when I was sent to the room to receive financial conselling. This is compulsory for all. "What are you googling?" I asked the friendly nurse who had seen me before for a synovial cyst excision on my right thumb. "Just to check the spelling of verrucca what Dr Foo wrote," she said. I was impressed with the thirst for knowledge imparted to the nurses.
On the surgical table, I asked Dr Foo whether he could remove the many red growths, as if blood vessels had burst. One young nurse told me: "In China, your many red spots on the man's skin are signs of good fortune." No wonder I am still alive.
I had a blood pressure monitoring arm band on my left forearm which expanded at regular intervals, giving readings in red.Another nurse who monitored my blood pressure asked if I have been active exercising. "Low pulse rate? Is it good or bad?" I asked the nurse. Low heart rate seems to be uncommon for senior citizens as I had been asked this question in another surgery. "I don't think Dr Sing exercises at all," Dr Foo commented correctly.
The carbon dioxide laser machine came into the room. I had multiple warts on my upper chest and so this machine would be useful. The nurse swabbed my upper chest with some liquid. Then Dr Foo got a purple marker pen to circle the verrucca or warts. "How many warts do you mark?" I asked Dr Foo. "Eleven. I am injecting local anaesthetic," he said. "It may be painful."
My eyes were covered by a piece of wet swab to prevent the bright operating lights blinding me. So I could not see what was going on as the laser buzzed. I could feel slight pain in some and none in other wart removal areas. A whiff of BBQ smoke pased my nostril. Soon, it was over. 3 samples of growths were taken for histopathology. The red one which was said to be a haemangioma and would recur when removed. A brown wart. Dr Foo said to the two young cheerful nurses from China: "Take the one rounded brown growth Dr Sing was worried about for the lab." I thanked him. "It could be an accessory nipple," he said of the brown growth near my armpit. "It is on the line," Dogs do have 5 pairs of nipples and well I knew what he was talking about.
Overall, it was a pleasant and enjoyable experience at the operating theatre. The bright yellow Crocs clogs were outstanding in two nurses. The others wore blue, green and black coloured ones. One man wore white boots. The cream0white vinyl tiled floor with red square patterns was very clean and shiny. There were 6 operating theatres. I could not understand why the large word "WASH" was pasted on the stainless steel sink where the surgeons scrubbed up and washed their hands pre-surgery. I saw one surgeon putting on a cloth glove and two more pairs of latex surgical gloves. "Some surgeons are allergic," the kind nurse explained to me.