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Translator: imperfectluck Editor: Kurisu
The thyroid and mammary gland department’s patient rooms were currently completely filled. After the morning checkups on the patients, Director Li gave Su Jing a new cancer patient, a woman who was in her thirties. This female patient needed to have her entire left breast surgically removed.
Breast cancer surgery involved both the mammary gland and the axillary lymph node. There were two types of breast cancer surgeries: breast-conserving surgery and mastectomy. This patient required the latter. Before the axillary lymph node surgery, there would first be sentinel lymph node biopsy followed by axillary lymph node dissection. Chemotherapy would be required afterwards. The entire process was highly painful.
After Zhang Fan helped the patient finish her paperwork, the patient went for a checkup. After the patient was off in the distance, Su Jing sighed, and said, “Sigh, she’s so pitiful. She’s still so young. Women who are of the age to be at risk of breast cancer absolutely need to periodically do breast cancer screening. Otherwise, they’ll truly regret the consequences.” After the checkup was completed, Director Li Qiuhua arranged the first part of the surgery for Su Jing.
Li Qiuhua personally took care of most of the breast cancer surgeries in the department because this wasn’t a difficult surgery. In fact, it was easy enough for any of the department’s doctors to learn after only a few times. She didn’t want the other doctors to learn it so easily, as she would lose authority.
Two days later, since this patient was officially Su Jing’s, Li Qiuhua arranged for Su Jing and Zhang Fan to be in charge of mastectomy portion of the surgery, while she herself would be in charge of the axillary lymph node dissection. Although Li Qiuhua had a kindly appearance, according to Su Jing, the director was quite fierce when scolding her subordinates. Previously, a female doctor in the department had butted heads with the director over the correct treatment for a patient. The end result was that Director Li left the female doctor alone for an entire year without giving her a single surgery to perform. In the end, the female doctor couldn’t do anything about it, and quit her job here. The female doctor was skilled enough to start a master’s degree study program.
Breast cancer surgeries weren’t actually that hard. The difficult part would be giving a speedy and accurate diagnosis, which would especially depend on the hospital’s foundational skills. The diagnosis from the doctor would determine if a breast cancer patient required a mastectomy or a breast-conserving surgery. Since Li Qiuhua was past 50 now, she was no longer able to physically handle lengthy surgeries, which was why she arranged the mastectomy surgery portion for Zhang Fan and Su Jing, while she would perform the axillary lymph node dissection. This entire surgery would count as a major surgery in the thyroid and mammary gland department.
Su Jing asked Zhang Fan, “Have you performed a mastectomy before? If not, I’ll act as the primary surgeon.” She was worried that Zhang Fan wouldn’t know how to do it.
Zhang Fan would never let go of any opportunity to grind surgical experience. “Senior, relax. I’ve often done this type of surgery before.” Well, he was referring to how he had often practiced mastectomies in his System before. This was the first time that he was performing a mastectomy in real life. Still, it wouldn’t be difficult at all for him.
When Zhang Fan finished washing his hands and started the surgery, Li Qiuhua was still chatting with the director of anesthesia. Zhang Fan’s System helped guide him quite clearly through every surgical step, from incision to stopping the blood flow. He was incredibly precise in his movements, and finished the entire mastectomy in under 20 minutes, which was ridiculously quick! When Su Jing saw that Zhang Fan finished the surgery, she was about to go and call Director Li into the operating room when Li Qiuhua entered by himself.
Li Qiuhua knew that Su Jing was the hesitant type who was typically slower to perform surgeries, which was why she hadn’t even washed her hands yet, but entered the operating room to offer any necessary advice for the mastectomy. Yet when she entered, damn! The entire mastectomy had been finished! All that was needed was for her to perform the axillary lymph node dissection. Li Qiuhua carefully checked the patient, and saw that there were absolutely no problems with the incisions or hemostasis. She didn’t say anything as she directly went to wash her hands.
After she washed her hands, Li Qiuhua began to perform the axillary lymph node dissection. As she operated, she said, “Su Jing, you’ve recently improved so much. Your speed at performing surgery has greatly increased. Nice job.”
Su Jing felt rather awkward as she mumbled, “Zhang Fan performed the mastectomy.”
“Really?” Li Qiuhua glanced at Su Jing before continuing, “Pretty good. Men really do have an advantage at being surgeons.”
This made Su Jing deflate even more. Even though Li Qiuhua was also a woman, she rarely treated young female doctors in a friendly manner. Maybe she had something against other women.
Although Li Qiuhua was rather domineering, she really was a skilled surgeon. She performed the axillary lymph node dissection cleanly and precisely. After the surgery was completed, she told Zhang Fan and Su Jing, “Go and write the medical report, and make sure to properly give medical advice to the patient and her family. Even after she leaves the hospital, she needs to come back periodically for chemotherapy treatments.”
After the surgery, Zhang Fan used the department computer because he wanted to check how many breast cancer patients the thyroid and mammary gland department previously had. The result was that the department had such a tremendous number of patients that Zhang Fan’s mouth was left agape. Since people in the border province were more conservative, and medical resources were scarcer, it was rare for women here to periodically come in for checkups. Women working in the cities would have checkups slightly more often, but women from rural villages and the nomadic districts would almost never come in for any checkups at all. Thus, there was a tremendous number of breast cancer patients who didn’t discover their cancer until it was too late for anything but a mastectomy.
Breast cancer would commonly cause even a well-to-do family to instantly become poor. There were far too many examples of this. Although China had been greatly supporting medical reforms, those who had breast cancer wouldn’t be able to work for quite a long period of time afterwards, and they would also require specialized nutrition, medicine, and chemotherapy. Breast cancer was truly a scourge among humankind.
Breast cancer screening was incredibly simple. Younger women would simply require an ultrasound, while older women would need a mammography. Oh, and as a reminder from your author, you or your family members really should have a breast cancer screening once per year. Please take care of yourselves!
Zhang Fan wasn’t busy recently, as it was almost New Year’s now. The sports school was also on vacation. Zhang Fan didn’t know how to cook, so he ate at the hospital cafeteria and prepared to go back to his apartment to rest. Right before he could go back to his apartment, he received a phone call from Li Liang. “Brother Zhang, where are you right now? Director Chen and I are here in Chasu City for a business conference. Are you busy? Let’s meet up!”
Zhang Fan was delighted to hear that Li Liang and Chen Qifa were visiting Chasu City. He hurriedly responded, “I’m not busy, where are you guys? I’ll go over to find you.”
“Teacher Zhang, we’re at the hotel closest to Chasu City Hospital. The business conference lasted for two days, and it just ended, so we wanted to see you,” Chen Qifa told him through Li Liang’s cell phone.
“Okay, I’ll be there soon.”
Kuake City Hospital had immediately promoted Chen Qifa from acting director to being the official director of surgical department #2 right after his medical license exam score came out. Chen Qifa had already been one of the better surgeons in Kuake City Hospital with his practical skills. Now that he finally passed the medical license examination as well, and since the vice superintendent Shi Lei also supported him, Chen Qifa could finally hold his head high.
Chen Qifa and Li Liang waited for Zhang Fan at the hotel entrance. They were especially happy to see him, and Chen Qifa even lifted Zhang Fan up in an embrace. “Teacher Zhang, thank you so much! I passed because of you! Haha! Come, I’m treating you two to a really good meal today!”
Li Liang was also all smiles. Although he passed the medical license on his first try, he believed that it was all thanks to Zhang Fan being there, motivating him to study harder. Otherwise, he felt that he might have failed.
Zhang Fan had eaten already, but he didn’t mention that, because he didn’t want to pour cold water on Chen Qifa and Li Liang’s happiness. The three of them went to a large hot pot restaurant. Zhang Fan was unable to convince Chen Qifa to refrain from ordering many expensive foods. As Chen Qifa put it: “I’m going to waste some money today. It’s been so many years already. I finally don’t need to feel inferior anymore. Teacher Zhang, just let me spend as much money as I want.”
Zhang Fan never expected that Chen Qifa would truly view him as a teacher. The latter wasn’t joking even in the slightest. Zhang Fan even felt rather proud as he watched his disciple who was almost double his own age.
Since everyone here knew that Zhang Fan had almost no alcohol tolerance whatsoever, they only ordered the local specialty, horsemilk wine. This wine was sweet and sour, and those who hadn’t imbibed it before would find it difficult to get used to the taste. The three of them chatted as they ate together. “Teacher Zhang, will you be focusing on orthopedic surgery in the future?”
“I don’t know yet. I’ll decide when it’s time. The new superintendent here has a policy where the new doctors must constantly rotate through the different hospital departments. I’ll decide after that’s finished. How are you guys doing? Do you have many patients?”
“The number isn’t bad at all. Zou Pingshan put Shi Lei fully in charge of the surgical departments, and Shi Lei really supports me. He also told me especially that if there’s any difficult surgery that requires an expert doctor’s help, I should ask you first and pay you the going price for what a Chasu City Hospital director’s fee would be,” Chen Qifa spoke while eating some meat.
“Haha, we can talk about that when it’s time.” Zhang Fan didn’t know what to say to this.
Li Liang then asked, “Brother Zhang, do you think I should take Chasu City Hospital’s recruitment exam next year? Now that Director Chen is in charge, he takes really good care of me. I’m worried that even if I pass the recruitment exam to go to Chasu City Hospital, I might not be able to go to a surgical department. But, I really like surgery, and truly don’t want to go into internal medicine.”
Zhang Fan glanced at Chen Qifa, who immediately said, “Those who are young should take the opportunity to go out and improve themselves. I won’t stop you at all. If only I was 20 years younger, I would also go to Chasu City, but now, I’m too old. There’s no more chance for me.”
Hearing this made Zhang Fan understand that Chen Qifa truly took good care of Li Liang indeed. Zhang Fan thought it over for a moment before saying, “It would be best if you can get accepted into a surgical department, but if not, it would also be good for you to stay in Kuake City for a few years. It won’t be too late for you to transfer after studying surgery under Old Chen for several years. Here in Chasu City Hospital, you’d also need to constantly rotate through different departments. You need to think for yourself what you want to do if you can’t get into a surgical department.”
None of the three got drunk. They were mostly focused on enjoying themselves, not drinking alcohol. Zhang Fan now had an idea after talking to Chen Qifa and Li Liang. He would act on this idea when the opportunity was right.
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