About ten years ago, my gall bladder was removed. (To anyone who never had gall bladder cramps: you don’t want to know.) I knew that no surgery is trivial, and that even famous people, like Russian rocket designer Korolyov, may have been killed by botched gall bladder surgery, but hey, we live in modern times, and laparoscopic surgery isn’t quite the same as it used to be in the old days when they cut your abdominal cavity open with a machete. Indeed, six hours (!) after I was rolled into the operating room, I was sitting in my own chair at home, and I haven’t had a complaint since.
Congressman John Murtha, a leading opponent of the war in Iraq, had the same surgery a few days ago. Unfortunately, he was returned to the hospital two days later, and was pronounced dead not long thereafter… apparently a result of botched surgery, as they may have cut one of his intestines, resulting in a deadly infection.
I’m glad I didn’t know such things can happen back when I was going under the knife! Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.