Tuesday, July 17, 2007

TB patient has lung resected in front of CNN cameras


Tonight (Tuesday July 17, 2007) CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 Exclusive program featured an apparently real taping of the surgery given to Andrew Speaker to remove one lobe of his left lung infected with a drug resistant strain of tuberculosis. The film demonstrated the surgery with a mannequin, and it appeared to be laproscopic, with three relatively small holes, similar to keyhole surgery for gall bladder removal or sometimes less invasive coronary bypass surgery. Dr. Sanjay Gupta apparently scrubbed and was there for the surgery, and it appeared that the surgical field through his probably shaved chest was shown.

This is certainly a horrific episode for Speaker. He never seems to have been very sick, and was forced into quarantine and forced isolation on the theory that someone might be infected. Some patients on the flights that he took have sued in Canada. Speaker says he will not deal with the legal problems until he is well.

Doctors explained that his recovery would be more complete with the surgery to remove the lobe with the tennis-ball sized area of infection, but with some healthy tissue removed. It is like cancer surgery. But Speaker is expected to recover completely, and (at 31) be able to run a marathon. The surgery was reported to have some risk but was not as invasive as it might have been.

An earlier link covering this story was on May 30, here.

I can recall the cartoons after David Letterman had his emergency coronary bypass surgery in 2000 and joined the zipper club. He did not have the benefit of the keyhole operation.

The show also discussed the National Intelligence Estimates report released today.

Anderson Cooper certainly has an enviable career as a journalist covering controversial and meaty stories, and he paid his dues covering the Third World early in his career.

Tidbits:

On the Tuesday July 17 of "Days of our Lives" Jeremy's girlfriend, while they are in a whirlpool in Vegas, calls him "chicken man -- buck buck" like they used to call me in the Army. (He's everywhere.) Jett almost drowns her on the spot.

On Wednesday, Buck, about to be stripsearched by Roman (for a tattoo drawing of "the Island") says, "nobody undresses me but a girl."

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