BOSTON, MA – It started in 2007 when Dr. Ronald Jeremy, a staff urologist, was on his way out the door to the departmental holiday party at the local Howard Johnson Motor Lodge. He was paged urgently to OR 17 for a likely ureteral injury.
“There goes my night,” he voiced as he entered the room to find the sheepish-looking general surgeon with two ends of the preoperatively placed ureteral stent in his hands.
“Really tough sigmoid colectomy in a radiated field,” the general surgeon offered as a justification for his “clean kill” of the left ureter. “Glad I had you put the stent in ahead of time so I was able to recognize the injury,” the surgeon continued, somehow spinning his screw up into a personal victory. Dr. Jeremy just sighed, knowing the next 3 hours of ureteral reconstruction would preclude him from witnessing the annual drunken shenanigans of the departmental office staff at the HoJo’s open bar and karaoke night.
In his pitch to the third party funding group and MIT engineers, Jeremy explained, “It was once thought that the gynecologist was the ureter’s only naturally occurring predator, but what I’ve found is that not only the Gynies but also the General, Surg Onc, and Colorectal surgeons have all developed a taste for ureteral transection.” Jeremy continued, “What really burns me is that if someone rips a hole in the cava or iliac vein the vascular guys get high fives and are carried out of here on shoulders for fixing it and are typically rewarded with a bottle of whiskey and a thank you note the next day. Where’s my whiskey?” asked Jeremy to the now flummoxed basic science team.
Dr. Jeremy took his product to the hospital quality committee explaining, “Look, we’ve tried every kind of ureteral stent on the market to cut down on these occurrences. There are stents that beep when touched and stents that flash bright lights but these surgeons can’t be stopped. They are slashing through ureters like Grant through Richmond, and it’s affecting my social life.”
When pressed on the details of his new ureteral stent, Jeremy proudly explained, “My stent actually connects to both the sound system in the OR and to the electrocautery unit. When it detects heat from an attacking Bovie, the stent will shout, ‘OUCH, IT BURNS!! YOU ARE TOO CLOSE WITH THE BOVIE…JACKASS!!.'”
If the assailing surgeon persists, the stent will automatically cut power to the electrocautery and exclaim, “PLEASE CONSULT UROLOGY BEFORE YOU BURN THROUGH ME…A-HOLE!!” If a clip or ligature is inadvertently placed on the ureter or stent it will interject, “I WON’T MAKE MUCH URINE IF YOU STRANGLE ME WITH THAT CLIP…D-BAG!!!”
Dr. Jeremy concluded, “In the event that the ureteral stent is actually divided, the new system will unleash an unmitigated verbal assault on the offending surgeon until the consulting Urologist arrives and deactivates the system.”