Werewolves exist in organised societies hidden from humanity at large and over the course of their history they had certain lycanthropy-related problems to overcome. While their condition comes with perks, it also has downsides. In particular in terms of medicine, werewolves are immune to most diseases and poisons and they have a very high healing factor - that is to say their wounds and injuries heal very rapidly. Sounds awesome at first, but it comes with its own set of problems.
Werewolf healing has its limitations. The following mostly pertains to their human form, as in beast form their healing factor goes into overdrive but the same principles remain.
As far as speed of healing is concerned, it depends on the size of the wound as well as general condition of the werewolf. For example, a gunshot wound will take a few minutes to heal, but having multiple gunshot wounds will slow this process down (healing will be spread equally, a second injury will slow down the healing of the first injury and so forth)
Additionally there are limitations to what can be healed. For example:
- A severed limb will not regrow, but the wound itself will close.
- A bullet wound will heal but the bullet - if stuck inside - will remain inside rather than be pushed out.
- A broken bone will mend, but if dislocated, it will not be pulled into its correct position on its own
What this means is that despite the awesome healing potential, there are still situations when doctors and surgery are needed - for example an othopedic surgery to break improperly healed bones and set them back into place or a surgery to remove bullet or shrapnel from inside the body.
And this is where my problem lies.
How to operate on a rapidly-healing werewolf?
Any incision made during the surgery will quite literally start to heal before the surgeon's eyes. Unless the entire surgery lasts no more than a few minutes, that's a problem. Additionally, the side effect of being immune to poisons also renders werewolves virtually immune to anesthesia and sedation, which means surgery will need to be done on a conscious and feeling patient. As pain is transformation-inducing, this also means operating is only possible in daytime, so any multi-hour surgeries become an even greater problem.
With some additional assumptions:
- Modern medicine (2010s-2020s)
- Surgery will be performed by a trained team of medical proffessionals who are aware they're operating on a werewolf
The question is: How to perform surgery on a rapidly healing werewolf with greatest chance of success and minimal harm/discomfort* to the patient?
*I'm not expecting the patient to be comfortable during a no-anesthesia orthopedic surgery, all I'm saying is "no needless torture". Emphasis on needless.
If any data is missing let me know in the comments and I'll do my best to provide missing information.
Info added in response to comments:
Can werewolves heal from nerve damage? - For the most part yes. If the nerve is severed or torn then yes. If the nerve is severed and then a large portion of it is removed from the body then it's a bit more tricky and full recovery may not be possible depending on how much of original tissue is missing.
How is the werewolf regeneration spread out? - There is indeed a "healing per time budget", which is spread equally among all the wounds. There is no mechanism for prioritisation, all wounds heal simultaneously, but the more wounds there are, the slower the process is. There comes a point where the werewolf would be wounded enough that the healing process can't keep up with blood loss, which could be called the leading cause of werewolf mortality.