A Brain Tumor Operation from the Surgeon's Perspective


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Photographer and former ICP student Eric Michael Johnson is young and talented, and his empathy for his subjects is evident in his work. Johnson summarized about this surgery project:

"I made these photographs in June 2009, while living in Mexico City. They are part of an ongoing project about health care professionals and the emotional toll of their work. What interested me in documenting neurosurgery was the obvious complexity and countless unknowns when treating the human brain. The results of their actions can vary dramatically from success to failure. As we put on our scrubs the morning of surgery, I asked Dr. Luis Antonio Díaz Gerard about the emotional toll of his work. He replied, "You only remember the ones that don't make it." I wanted to stay away from obvious graphic photographs. Instead, I tried to capture moments that show what doctors and nurses see. To me, the dramatic lighting of the surgery theater reflects the tremendous weight of their responsibilities. These photographs show a few of the haunting moments that are part of their daily lives."

Dr. Luis Antonio Díaz Gerard removed the remaining hairs from patient Mari Zaragoza's scalp before performing surgery for a biopsy on a malignant brain tumor at the Hospital General "Tacuba" ISSSTE in Mexico City.

To prevent infection Dr. Díaz cleansed the scalp of the patient with antiseptic.

The final surgical drape was pulled over the patients head before surgery.

During surgery blood and other fluids were collected in a reservoir bottle.

Assistant surgeon turning her head in an attempt to avoid being hit by a spraying artery. Blood struck her on the right cheek and glasses.

Blood remained on the floor after the incident.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2023 Kalmbach Media Co.