First, for the purpose of full disclosure, let me state that I am a practising doctor. In fact, I am practising in the field of General Surgery. I have personally operated on or assisted in operating on more than 2000 patients to date. So,clearly I love my job and I love to be in the operating theatre. This is not because I am a masochist but because it gives me great satisfaction seeing my patients walk out of the hospital cured. However, there are certain things that I feel is not emphasised enough to the general public.

Taylor Who?

For those of you who have just come out of your hermit caves, let me just give a brief introduction to who Taylor Swift actually is. Taylor Swift is currently one of the most popular singing sensations of this generation. She is tall, skinny, beautiful, talented, smart and funny. She seems just about perfect, right? Why, then, is it so scary to date her? Well, children, teens and adults love her catchy songs because they can relate to the personal life experiences she bases her songs on. Most notably, she writes her own songs and many of them are about her ex boyfriends. Some examples of these popular hits include “We Are Never Getting Back Together” and “Teardrops On My Guitar”. 

So, if I were Taylor Swift’s boyfriend I would definitely tread with caution. Having said that, there are many things in the world that can be scarier than dating Taylor Swift. One of those things is undergoing surgery. Here's why:

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Number 1

Dating Taylor Swift can get complicated. In fact, dating any famous person can be complicated. Firstly, you need to differentiate between their real persona and their stage persona. Secondly, you need to deal with the paparazzi always sneaking about and their overly emotional, sometimes violent, groupies. It is almost impossible to stay out of the limelight yourself which may be complicated for a “normal” person. If you were trying to get famous yourself, then it wouldn’t matter if your relationship with her ended well or not as good publicity or bad publicity is still publicity. However, in surgery, there are no good complications. A complication is always a bad thing. Some complications can be anticipated and these are the ones we would warn the patient about beforehand. But others catch everyone by surprise, including the surgeon.

Number 2

Dating Taylor Swift may result in suffering public humiliation by being the subject of the one of her songs. But, this is only temporary. Any heartache suffered is only temporary. A botched surgery, in contrast, can result in side effects that may be lifelong. I have one patient who came in to remove his appendix. This is generally considered to be a relatively straightforward operation. Unfortunately, the junior doctor who stitched up the wound did not do a very good job. This resulted in part of my patient’s abdominal wall to herniate and protrude out of the wound every time he coughed. We had to go in a second time to fix the hernia. This second operation resulted in another complication where the mesh that we used to close the hole in the abdominal wall got infected, needing a third operation to remove the mesh. Subsequently, he developed a condition where strings of fibrous tissue formed between his small intestine to the infected wound. These adhesions cause the bowel not to move properly. He has since refused for further surgery, but has to be admitted quite frequently due to this problem.

safe surgery

Number 3

Taylor Swift admits her mistakes and her ex boyfriend’s mistakes in her songs about previous relationships. It is not always very direct and she never really mentions specific names but it is out in the open for the public to interpret nonetheless. In the medical field, the general public hardly hears about any wrongdoings that occur in the hospital. Believe me, there are many. But the majority of them are settled out of court or fixed before anyone else finds out. Before you undergo an operation, you will find it very difficult to figure out whether your surgeon or the anaesthetist who will put you sleep has had any malpractice issues before, unless it has reached the criminal courts. You will really need to do some deep digging to connect with their old patients or other medical staff who can give you an accurate assessment of their skills.

Number 4

If you are so lucky to date Taylor Swift, and things do happen to head south, both you and her have the choice to break it off. However, this may not be the case in surgery. Before you undergo any planned operation, you will be required to sign a form that has a small written clause stating that the doctor may proceed as needed should the operation become complicated. Each hospital will word it differently, but this basically means that while you are asleep during the operation, your life and the outcome of your surgery is actually in your surgeon’s hands. You will not be awake to choose what is best for you and your body. There may be certain cases where the surgeon will have to decide what is best for you and when you wake up from surgery, you may not necessarily agree with your surgeon’s decision.

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In summary, being dumped by a world famous singer may seem like the end of the world. This is often made worse by her singing about it and making it known to millions of people what went wrong whilst making money from your misery. Her ex boyfriend probably feels it is something they will not be able to recover from, but they always do in the end. In surgery, this may not be the case.  It is literally a life and death situation. Your life is in someone else’s hands. So, please do the proper research before undergoing any operation. Nowadays, there are lots of other options available besides surgery.

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Taylor Swift's album - currently number 2 in Amazon Music Charts