It is an interesting phenomenon in the field of medicine that diseases seem to present in groups. For example, one night in my residency, 6 patients came in with appendicitis, where we typically saw 2-3 per week. This cluster phenomenon occurred the other day when I operated on 2 babies with rather large bumps on their backs (or bums). One was a myelomeningiocele, which develops when part of the spine fails to form, and part of the spinal cord and some of its covering protrudes out of the spine. The other baby had a large sacrococcygeal teratoma. This is a benign tumor protruding from the buttocks, which can often contain weird things like teeth and hair (this tumor had neither).
While I had removed myelomeningioceles before (well, two), neither I nor the resident operating with me had ever removed a sacrococcygeal teratoma. So much of our conversation during the case was comparing what we had read in different articles and books, and then trying to figure out which we should go with. Thankfully all went well and both babies should lead completely normal lives.
I wonder what our patients' next cluster of diseases will be....
Talk about a picture being worth 1,000 words. :)
Amazing. Do you know the occurrence rate in Africa vs N America?
sacrococcygeal teratoma -- Hooray for teeth! :-)
Hey, I'm putting a new christmas card/photo in the mail for you guys tomorrow.
I pray Jesus will continue to give you wisdom from above to help these wonderful people. Thanks for sharing.
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