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International Surgery Day

The International Surgery Day is celebrated on September 18. It was first established in Russia in 2014 by the Russian Society of Surgeons, coincided with the birthday of the famous Russian surgeon and scientist, naturalist, Prof. Nikolai I. PIROGOV.
In honor of the professional holiday, we interviewed Prof. Assoc. Evgeny N. DEGOVTSOV, MD, PhD, Board Certified in Surgery, Head of the N.S. Makokha Surgery Department (Advanced Course) of OSMU, and Prof. Assoc. Sergey V. CHERNENKO, MD, PhD, Board Certified in Thoracic Surgery, Head of the General Surgery Department.
Usually, surgery is rarely a priority choice for future doctors because of the huge responsibility which comes with this profession – the responsibility for a patient's life. Understanding whether it is worth going down such a difficult path is one of the most important tasks that future surgeons face.
What qualities does a future doctor need to study surgery and become a successful specialist?
Sergey V. CHERNENKO: A person must have deep academic knowledge in various fields of medicine with a focus on their specialized field. Besides having a comprehensive knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the human body, a surgeon should be thorough and diligent in order to perform long surgeries. Moreover, stress resistance will be helpful if you face an unusual clinical case.
Evgeny N. DEGOVTSOV: A person should be self-disciplined and responsible.
There is a stereotype that surgery is a male profession.
Sergey V. CHERNENKO: This is one of the myths. In the world, in Russia, in Omsk, there are quite a lot of examples of female surgeons who perform hours-long operations successfully. However, in general, women are not as willing to go into this profession as men, since it is indeed physically difficult and exhausting. At the same time, 3 out of 7 our 2nd-year surgery residents are women.
What does this profession teach?
Sergey V. CHERNENKO: Promptly make precise and unambiguous decisions. Unlike internal diseases, surgery doesn’t give you the possibility to correct your decisions.
Evgeny N. DEGOVTSOV: The advantage of the profession is its outcomes. The result of the surgical procedures is always clear and unambiguous.
What makes it possible today to talk about the high effectiveness of surgery?
Evgeny N. DEGOVTSOV: Breakthroughs in medical technologies and many innovations have a huge impact on the surgery, like smart diagnostic programs, ultra-sensitive optics for high-precision operations, computer vision for better visualization of the necessary areas, robots for endoscopic examinations and operations. Doctors are often opposed to programs and robots, but together we can achieve maximum success.
Presently, robots can only assist in solving surgical problems, but only if they are handled by an experienced doctor.  Each disease is unique, and surgery is a handwork, a delicate and jewelry process.
The most popular robot in Russia is the robot-assisted surgical system «Da Vinci», which helps surgeons to perform high-tech and super precise operations with accuracy of 1 mm.
Preventive measures in surgery often come down to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and following the recommendations of doctors aimed at preventing complications of current diseases. At the same time, surgery itself can be preventive.
Evgeny N. DEGOVTSOV: Bariatric surgery, or overweight surgery, prevents the development of metabolic syndrome and the progression of diabetes. The other example – timely-performed ulcer surgery can prevent bleeding and other complications of the disease. The same applies to gallstone disease.
Development and implementation of new surgical methods is one of the areas of activity of OSMU departments of surgery. A great attention is paid to the scientific work, and together with clinical practice it needs a lot of effort, time, and energy. But the results of scientific research in surgery are a development factor that allows patients to live a life filled with emotions and joy.
Evgeny N. DEGOVTSOV and Sergey V. CHERNENKO wished their colleagues good health and patience in the hard work.
OSMU Press Center