A while ago, a breast reduction was scheduled to be performed. The patient had troublesome G-cup breasts that were continually the source of her neck ache, back pain, as well as been a hindrance in general. She could not find clothes and underwear that could fit easily. Physical activities proved difficult due to the sheer weight of her macromastia (fancy term for large breasts).

The anaesthetist at the time of surgery, who was originally of russian descent, had prepared the patient for a general anaesthesia. As usual, the breathing mask was placed over the patient’s face, just as anaesthetic medication was been injected into the patient’s blood stream to put her to sleep. The anaesthetist, who still spoke with a deep and distinct russian ascent, encouraged the patient to inhale deeply in order to fill her lungs with oxygen.

The words that came out of her mouth sounded something like this:

“Take BIG BREASTS…. BIIIIIG BREASTS…. BIIIIIIIIIIG BREASTS…. ”

As if resurrected from a terrible dream, the patient’s eyes suddenly sprung wide open with a stunned and confused look! Thankfully, just as quickly as she had opened her eyes, within a second, she had succumbed to the anaesthetic and her eyes returned to their peaceful slumber. To avoid embarrassment, I reserved my comments to my anaesthetic colleague. Looking around the operating room, however, I could see giggles and silent laughter on all the nurses who had heard and seen what had just occurred!

The operation went on smoothly, and she made an unremarkable recovery. She came back to see me a week later, standing tall, devoid of the previously debilitating excess baggage. I asked her if she remembered the anaesthetist. She did not. Up until this day, what happened that day still circulates as one of the more humorous moments in the all-too-often serious atmosphere of the operating room.