Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Doctor Stories #8: Lymph Nodes Aren't Hollow

From The Doctor Is In:
The bulk of the nodes were out in little time, titanium clips sealing the lymphatic channels and small blood vessels which feed them. The final packet was located near the point of the triangle, at the upper part of the pelvis below the vein. Several small vessels were clipped, and these nodes were removed easily as well.

I inspected the nodes, feeling them for firmness that might suggest cancer spread. One node looked peculiar. Hollow. Lymph nodes aren’t hollow.


Inspection of the surgical field confirmed my worst fear: I had removed a short section of the external iliac artery, the main vessel to the leg. Located in a highly unusual location: underneath the vein, rather than above and lateral to it–an aberrant knuckle of vascular conduit enveloped in fat and lymph nodes–a section of artery had been cleanly removed with the nodes...
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