This is one of the things that I love about the hospital where I work. It’s a teaching hospital so we get a lot of students of all types, and for me that means not only do I get the chance to pass along my knowledge to new sonographers and radiologists in training, but they also teach me new things along the way.
Keep reading to find out what I learned.
I was puzzled about this history, and why it was pertinent to my assessment of a little palpable lump in the left neck. I questioned this out loud and the clever young radiologist I was training knew the answer.
“Oh, they’re concerned that it might be a Vichow’s Node”
“A what?” I exclaimed, in surprise, “I’ve never heard that term.”
“Yeah,” he sat up straighter, seeing my interest (students love to share their newly acquired knowledge), “it’s an enlarged lymph node on the left side of the upper body that can indicate a recurrence of an abdominal or intestinal cancer through lymphatic spread. It’s reflective of the way that the lymphatic system of the lower abdomen drains up through the left upper torso of the body, while the right upper abdomen lymph nodes drain lymphatic fluid more from the head.”
I congratulated him on his fortuitous knowledge and we set about planning the exam. It made sense after that explanation that a doctor would be concerned about his patient having possibly enlarged lymph nodes in the left upper torso when that patient had previously had cancer of the lower abdomen.
Ultrasound is one of those fields that keeps challenging you and teaching you new things. But I think that can be said about most healthcare and medical related fields. Fortunately for me it's one of the things that I love most about it.