How Do Surgeons Manage Bathroom Breaks During Extremely Long Operations?

Written by Henrik Rothen

Jan.02 - 2024 2:24 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
How Do Surgeons Manage Bathroom Breaks During Extremely Long Operations?

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Surgical operations, especially long ones, require great rigor and increased concentration from the medical team. But how does a surgeon manage the need to use the bathroom under such circumstances?

Here's an explanation.

According to Caminteresse, surgeons, as health professionals, sometimes face situations where they must remain in the operating room for many hours to perform complex procedures. Meticulous planning is then essential for surgeons involved in long operations. Before the start of the procedure, team members make sure to attend to their personal needs, including bathroom breaks.

This almost indispensable step minimizes the need for unplanned breaks during the operation. Moreover, surgeons are encouraged to maintain good hydration (to avoid sudden fatigue) while avoiding overconsumption of liquids before the operation to reduce the frequency of urinary needs.

Medical Staff Rotation and Using Special Equipment for Urination

During a long operation, the surgical team always consists of several members, including the surgeon, anesthetist, nurses, and nursing assistants.

They implement rotations to allow some team members to leave the operating room for necessary break times, including bathroom breaks.

When a break is inopportune and/or not possible, some staff, including the surgeon, may choose to wear special diapers designed to reduce interruptions. Sometimes, a portable urinal is also placed nearby so that team members, if urgently needed, can relieve themselves.

Operation and Regulatory Breaks: Meticulous Planning

The planning of the intervention itself is an essential parameter to avoid any unwelcome interruption of the operation. Surgeons thus carefully examine the complexity of the operation, its expected duration, and other determining factors related to the act to organize breaks at appropriate times.

Additionally, in many hospitals and clinics, procedures are in place to easily obtain help from colleagues if needed.

If a surgeon or a member of the medical team must leave for any reason (discomfort, but also an urgent need to use the bathroom), another staff member can temporarily replace them, thus ensuring the continuity of care for the patient being operated on.

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