Coping with the emotional trauma associated with surgical complications
Many years ago Rene Leriche wrote: “Every surgeon carries within himself a small cemetery, where from time to time he goes to pray – a place of bitterness and regret, where he must look for an explanation for his failures”.
Complications, which can occasionally be fatal, are part and parcel of surgery, but emotional resilience is required on the part of the surgeon, who needs considerable fortitude to avoid becoming the “second victim”.
Different individuals have different ways of dealing with very personal fallout that accompanies the creation of a severe complication. Sometimes sharing the experience, and the strategies required to deal with it, rather than bottling it all up, can be very beneficial.
This blog is an opportunity to do just that! Please do add your own encounters with surgical complications and any other comments on such matters to this blog.