21. Don¡¯t underestimate.
Varicose vein is a disease which blood fills in the cutaneous vein of legs. When standing, cutaneous vein of legs are located much below the heart, so blood may be filled due to gravity. Then, cutaneous vein pops up like an earthworm and it is painful.
To cure varicose vein by surgery, simply take the bulging cutaneous vein out. There are plenty of other cutaneous vein and deep vein, so it does not have much effect on blood circulation. Cutaneous vein is not an essential structure.
Nowadays in hospitals, people think less of unnecessary structures. This is because those structures can be used when performing autograft. Autograft is moving one's structure to other part of one's body. Let's say that the coronary artery of heart is blocked. Blocked coronary artery is removed, and at that place, we can autograft cutaneous vein at the leg in order to save the heart. It is fortunate to have cutaneous vein which is not critical to human body.
There is also another structure that is not necessary in human body. It is cutaneous nerve, which is together with cutaneous vein in subcutaneous tissue. When cutaneous nerve is cut, the senses of the certain skin disappear, and it does not cause much harm. Isn't it better to lose sense of the face due to cutaneous nerves being cut than to have facial paralysis due to the motor nerve of one's face being cut? In reality, when a motor nerve of one's face gets cut, a cutaneous nerve of the leg is autografted to stop the paralysis.
When students make mistakes while dissecting and accidentally cut the nerves, I tell them to autograft the nerves. This means to connect the nerves with threads. Then, one can see how the nerves move. The autografting threads are called alloplastic grafts.
I transplanted nerves with different means before. When I looked at the picture of cadaver that I dissected, a nerve was cut. Like a student, I made a mistake and cut the nerve. Therefore, I copied the picture of other cadaver's nerve and pasted it. I succeeded in the nerve implant surgery that even neurosurgeons have hard time with. I implanted the nerve of another cadaver, so it was an allograft. This is only a joke. If you do this with an anatomy photo, you will suffer.
There are also bones and muscles which can be removed and is unnecessary. Ilium is a bone which touches the sides of the belt when strapped. Therefore, when inserting artificial tooth to maxilla or mandible, in other words, implantation, when maxilla or mandible are insufficient, parts of ilium are taken and autografted.
Muscle, skins outside of muscle, subcutaneous tissue, and the blood vessel of muscle are called myocutaneous flap by the lump. These myocutaneous flap are often used on autograft. For example, if you were to hurt your face due to a burn, a myocutaneous flap from your back would be taken and would be autografted on your face.
Nature foresaw the development of medical studies, and sufficiently placed unnecessary structures that can be used as autograft in human body. I tell the students in dissection room that "these structures are insignificant, and thus became significant. In the future when medical studies develop even more, insignificant structures may change. You can never predict the future, so do not belittle the structures that you find during dissection."
When I was young, I thought mountains were useless pieces of land. ¡°You cannot farm well on mountains, and cannot build houses easily as well.¡± My thoughts have changed. ¡°You can plant trees on mountains to prevent flood or drought, and can exercise by climbing.¡± Like this, people may initially think wrongly about certain things. As nobody knows the future, people should not look down on seemingly insignificant matters easily.