A Funny Call



Every Sunday, many doctors attend medical seminars in various institutions.

One Sunday, after the seminar, our group was recollecting memories of our student days and cracking jokes.

Suddenly my colleague, Dr. Harish Walawalkar, who also happened to be my medical officer at the time, asked me

“Do you remember that funny call?”

“Which one?”

“That one from the gynaecology ward?”

“From the gynaec ward? For me? But, I was in surgical ward!” I said.
“A patient had undergone hysterectomy (an operation for removal of the uterus), did not pass urine till late evening, the nurse on duty in the gynaec ward sent you an urgent call:

“The operated patient did not pass urine, please come and pass urine!!……..” he continued.

Soon our giggles turned into guffaws.

“Yeah---- yeah! I distinctly remember!!”

As the surge of laughter ebbed, I narrated the incident.

I received that call from the gynaec ward. Sensing something amiss, I rushed to the ward.

“Nurse, what is the problem?” I asked the nurse on duty.

Taking me to the bed of the patient she said,
“This patient was operated in the morning but has not yet passed urine.”

I looked at the patient, she was restless. She was getting a dull ache in the loins.

I examined her. Her urinary bladder was empty. To confirm it, I passed a catheter. Not a drop of urine could be drained.

That was ominous!

“During the operation, probably both the ureters (the tubes conducting urine from the kidneys to the urinary bladder) were inadvertently ligated”, I mused to myself.

I discussed the emergency situation with the radiologist on duty.
After discussion, he injected a radio-opaque contrast medium to delineate the urinary tract (IVU).

The x-ray picture was beckoning me for urgent surgical intervention.
I informed the chief surgeon. He decided to undertake an emergency exploratory operation.

I explained the situation to the patient and her relatives. They consented for the operation.

We began the exploration immediately; it was midnight by then.

“There it is”, I exclaimed with joy, as I located the ligature (stitch) on one side. The ligature was holding up the urine by tying and obstructing the ureter at the place.

The chief could cut the ligature and relieve the obstruction.

Oh! We all heaved a sigh of relief.

The other ureter was dilated but we could not locate the ligature.

“On this side, we will have to implant the ureter in the bladder and fix the bladder. Isn’t it?” said the chief.
“Yes” said I. “B—u—t in an emergency, do minimum!” he exclaimed.

“Sir, if the patient is stable, let us finish the job. Why explore the second time?” I said.

“She is quite stable.” succinctly said the anesthesiologist.

We decided to proceed with the plan. It took a long time to complete the operation.

A life threatening debacle was averted.

The postoperative recovery was uneventful.

After ten days, she was discharged from the ward.

I picked up the call book and showed the call message to the gynaec registrar. She could not contain her snigger.

I remarked,
“Now that your patient has been able to pass urine, I need not come to your ward to pass urine!” and left the ward.




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