Can one really get up so soon after brain surgery and use the john? : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

The twin plots of the patient's POV (Belushi's and Edwards') was interesting as far as it went...I thought the best acting and writing occured when Mark is being wheeled into surgery by the two bored male nurses or aides. For them, it was just hauling one last "thing" (piece of meat?) before their shift was over and they could go do something interesting on New Year's Eve. The counterpoint to this: Mark's taking all this in quietly, a patient, rather than a person in authority, immersed in the enormity of what he's about to undergo was subtly and nicely done. There was some good acting in this episode. My biggest complaint with this episode is that it was too "neatly" resolved. I mean, good gracious... one or two episodes ago, Greene has an "inoperable" brain tumor. Now it's not only operable, but Super Mark aces it to the point that same day post-op, he's ready to lose his Foley catheter (another nice humanizing doctor see patient's pov touch when he said he would never order one for a patient with the same feeling again...or something, I don't have it quoted right, but that's the gist)and with the marginal help of his beloved, hikes it to the john scant hours (the fireworks were just going off) after having his head sawed open, cut and stitched and recovered from what I can only assume would be some major, hairy anesthesia. I would think the post-op pain meds alone, would make such a heroic walk to the john ify at best. Anybody out there had brain surgery? This kind of easily resolved crisis seems similar to Benton's being "fired" only to (almost magically) have his problem resolved in one neat package (episode). The story doesn't live up to it's promos. It seems like cheap, easy, lazy writing to me, and I've seen so much better from this series.

-- Carrie Thorburn (, January 06, 2001


I thought the same thing. Too many miraculous recoveries on this show. I know Elizabeth felt bad for him, but maybe there was a *reason* they were putting off taking out his catheter. I kept waiting for a cliffhanger where Mark topples over and Elizabeth is horrified. Really, in my quite unprofessional opinion, he should have been bed ridden at least a day or two, no?

-- Elaine (, January 06, 2001.

I disagree. They would have wanted mark out of bed as soon as possible. It decreases the chance for complications such as pnuemonia. I had major jaw and reconstructive surgery eight years ago. I was at a major rish for hematoma etc. I totally put under which Mark was not. I was got up ans started walking with help to the bathroom with 4-6 hours after my surgery.

Last season , Benton wanted Carter to be up and walking around within twelve hours after his sugery.Despite Mark having a terminal illness, Carter had a much more evasive surgery. Carter had damage to his kidney, colon, spinal cord area, and two deep knife wounds. Carter had a colostomy, severe pain and injuries that affected his mobility. Benton wanted him up and attempting to walk has soon as possible and within twelve hours after surgery. Mark surgery was limited to his head. Mark was never put under. He was awake for the procedure. I see no reason why Mark with assistance could not get up to use the bathroom a few hours after he was brought up to his room.

-- Brenda (, January 06, 2001.

They had me walking less than eight hours after an emergency hysterectomy for a ruptured uterus, and I was still an ICU patient then. The nurse told me it was standard and that the sooner I was up walking the easier my recovery would be.

-- Melinda (, January 06, 2001.

I was walking (with considerable difficulty) perhaps 6 or 8 hours after an open splenectomy.

What I want to know is why he went to pee immediately after his foley was removed. His bladder should be empty... that's sort of the point of the catheter! And if he thinks it hurts coming out, he should be awake when it goes in.

-- Matthew Hunt (, January 06, 2001.

A friend of mine is undergoing some kind of glue & radiation treatments for a non-malignant mass in his brain. The first procedure took about 4 hours and he was up and walking around 2 hours later (with help) according to his sister. I also had spinal surgery two months ago and the same thing. I was up and around about 6 hours after surgery.

What I also found interesting is that the Chemowafers that were placed into the cavity where the Mark's tumor was resected is a sort of experimental treatment and only done in few hospitals, the Cleveland Clinic being one. A doctor at the Clinic explained on the news after the show that they do not use these wafers the first time a tumor of this kind is resected. They use them only if/when the tumor re-grows. It has something to do with the body rejecting the wafers if you use them too much. So they save this procedure until they really need to use them, i.e. regrowth.

-- AmyE (, January 06, 2001.

I know first hand that everything that has gone with Mark Greens has been totally off! My brother had a stage 4 glioblastoma which was operable to some evtent and he had several surgeries and many different treatments, even clinical trails and it eventually killed him. I think the shows writers and producers should use their heads before they do the things they do. My brother was a true hero in the way he handled his illness with such strength and faith and it is an insult to everyone who has ever had a brain tumor or loved someone who has that such false hope is being given. I do not mean to sound pessimistic but the show should try to be accurate with the information and prognosis it uses!

-- Kathy (, January 06, 2001.

But of course, TPTB needs to get Mark well as soon as possible in order to drop a few other terminal illnesses/beatings/pregnancies/etc... on him.

-- Sara (, January 06, 2001.

In a neat coincidence, I saw the same procedure that Mark had on the Discovery Health channel today. The patient had the same type of cancer, in, I think the same place in the brain. The show was one of those shows that focus on a particular hospital (as opposed to a show about the particular surgery), so they didn't much much of it, but what was shown seemed identical to what we saw on E.R. on Thursday (right down to putting Chemo-wafers in to the brain).


-- Sundog (, January 06, 2001.

Kathy, what you shared about your brother really moved me. While I'm crabbing over (what was to me)merely an unsatisfying plot resolution (too quickly arrived at/ seeming to trivialize a very serious condition), you, in real life have experienced the real heroics of your brother's struggle with this horrible thing. I agree with what you say about the series writers having an obligation to represent these medical conditions not only accurately (which from the other responses seems that they are up on the current techniques...the chemo wafer etc.) but fairly as well, and either leave these extreme conditions for non-principle actors who in all probability might heroically lose the battle against them, or invest enough time in the plot development to give a good principle character actor like Anthony Edwards space to develop his character's coming to grips with it, and maybe even fighting his way back and re-defining his life because of it (think: Harrison Ford, "Regarding Henry") Edwards has got the chops for it, as he's proven repeatedly. It's a shame to discount his character through turning him into a punching bag for tragedy, and trivialize brain surgery with no apparent reason other than goosing the ratings. I missed the new Christmas episode this year, so maybe this brain tumor thing was better developed than I know. I saw the scene with Carter and the B-ball (very well done)and when he told Elizabeth after her deposition (also well done), but don't recall much else. I just think after weathering the two out-of- sequence re-run episodes that interrupted the continuity of the new story line, that we were entitled to better than we got with "Piece of Mind".

-- Carrie (, January 07, 2001.

I have to dissagree with getting up so quickly. After I had major mastoid surgery (sounds daft but it nearly left me with nerve damage on the left side of my face) I wasn't allowed to even sit up for hours! Okay I was under for 3 and a half hours and because it was an operation on my head I felt dizzy but it wasn't brain surgery. You don't feel like doing anything after surgery even if you're only under for ten minutes which I have been for other surgery on my inner ear. The concept of actually wanting to get up and go to the john beats me.

-- Maddy McAllan (, April 08, 2001.

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