3 January 2017 10:09 AM (life)
I went to the surgical technician today so he could see how well my surgical wound was healing up. Everything was filled in nicely, but the wound had not closed properly. In technical terms. the edges were rolled and there was hypergranulation: the tissue that had filled in the wound was peeking up above the surface, preventing the edges of the epithelium (the 'top layer' if you will) from touching and fusing together.
The technician decided to use silver nitrate to corrode away the hypergranulation.
Silver nitrate has many uses in medicine, though has been replaced by antibiotics and other treatments for many purposes, though the Spectre of Resistance is making some practitioners rethink that. It was briefly used to kill pathogens in drinking water, but fears of argyria caused it to be displaced by chlorine.
Silver nitrate (called lunar caustic in old medical texts) is still used today as a chemical cautery. The powder is fused together into a solid lump on the ends of a stick, giving something that looks like a kitchen match. This is then rubbed on small bleeding blood vessels to stop the bleeding or on tissue to gently corrode small portions away.
Ever since I discovered that this was a thing that is done, I have wanted rather strongly to try it. I'm weird. I know. I think it's the name. How can you not want someone to shove something called lunar caustic into an open wound? I had been thinking I'd request it if I ever needed a wart removed, so I was kind of pleased when the technician decided to use it.
I was also a bit apprehensive, as I was expecting it to hurt quite a lot. It didn't; the worst it got was a mild burning, hardly notable when you're expecting to have to grit your teeth and get a white knuckled grip on something to suffer through it.
My tissues have been put on notice that they are expected to behave themselves and re-epithelialize.