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Friday December 21, 2018 at 12:21pm Age: 178 days
Category: High School, District


For college biology students eyeing the medical field, witnessing a complex surgery is as real as it gets.

Just before the winter break, students in Carolyn Russell’s college biology course traveled to Liberty Science Center in Jersey City for the live transmission of a neurosurgery, as it happened at Overlook Medical Center, in nearby Summit, New Jersey.

“The live surgery was an amazing experience, one I am glad I got to see, and it was truly surreal,” Jessica Mattera said.

The three-hour procedure was a craniotomy. “We watched as the surgeon, Dr. Adam Lipson, skillfully removed a bone flap from the skull, mapped the motor portion of the brain using the most recent technology, and removed seventy percent of a tumor,” Mrs. Russell said.

The surgeon explained each step of the procedure and the reasoning behind his decisions, namely the grade of the tumor, as determined by a pathology test, and the risks for the patient.

“I learned a lot about precision and how meticulous you truly have to be in order to be a surgeon,” Cassandra Miller said. “Dr. Lipson was extremely conscious about when enough is enough, and he was not willing to go further than a seventy percent resection of the tumor.”

That was a revelation for Dominique Williams. “Before the surgery, I thought that if someone had a malignant tumor, it would be a better idea to take out the whole tumor rather than leaving some of it in because malignant tumors can spread,” Dominique observed. “But as the doctor described it, you have to be careful and would rather be safe than too harsh because of the deficits it can cause.”

As with any field, surgical practice is not for everyone. “I realized that I don’t think I could ever be a surgeon after watching it live,” Casey Jashembowski said. “But it was definitely one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.”