Thursday, June 13, 2013

On the plastic surgery #LiveOR: A day in the working life



On May 29th, 2013 at 8:00 am, I arrived at Dr. Jennifer Walden’s office more excited than normal to shadow the day’s surgery. Allow me to introduce myself; I am Amber Randolph, Dr. Walden's intern. I am a dual enrolled high school/ college student on scholarship who has an interest in becoming a medical professional one day. That day I was helping Dr. Walden with a milestone by live Tweeting, Instagram, and Vine-ing a surgical procedure. The surgery, consisting of a facelift, necklift, blepharoplasty or eyelid lift, a fat grafting procedure, and a chemical peel, lasted a good part of the day. I was there from the beginning, updating twitter, recording videos on vine, and choosing filters on instagram. I’m finishing up the social media coverage by blogging my point view of the pre-op and surgical procedures to Celebrity Plastic Surgery Uncut.
The preoperative markings were the first Instagram pictures taken. I used my Iphone to snap candids of the patient, Johnna, 49, as she prepared to enter the operating room. Johnna’s family photos added a nostalgic tone to her upcoming transformation. As she held her past high school photo next to her current face, I became excited to see the future Johanna after the surgery.
The Vine, Instagram, and Twitter updates continued as Johnna entered the surgical room. Soon after, Dr. Walden started harvesting fat from Johnna's abdomen. Dr. Walden then performed the eyelid lift to both upper and lower lids as well as injected the fat that had previously been harvested at the initiation of the case. By far, my favorite part was the face lift. Dr. Walden started by undermining the facelift flap and then went into lifting the underlying tissue that is the foundation of the patient's face. I was amazed at how the facelift allowed Johnna's appearance to dramatically change in hours. I captured an inches-from-the-blade perspective on Vine and Instagram that allowed social media users to get even closer than someone in the operative room.
This was an amazing project for me to be involved in, as Instagram, Vine, and Twitter allowed usually private procedures to be demystified for public education. Now, when researching facelift or blepharoplasty, the lay person has educational videos and pictures from the platforms of Vine and Instagram they use on a daily basis at their fingertips. I’m so glad to be a part of a summer intern experience where accomplishing plastic surgery landmarks like this are all in a day’s work.  

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