(Jeff_L) #1


Evolving Dialogues between surgeon and Drawing Practitioner

plexity of even the most simple surgical procedure
could not be exactly replicated. Tissue texture and
depth can vary greatly, cutting tools can become
blunter, cauterising instruments falter; any combi-
nations of these, as well as other interventions cause
pauses and breaks in the flow of the surgeon’s activ-
ity. It was interesting that during these periods of
close observation that Neil felt that the breaks were
longer than they actually were. Following this small
pilot study there was a growing awareness of the
enormous variability of the process of surgery, even
within what was essentially the same procedure.
Work continues with the development of draw-
ing activities based on observations of surgical
interventions with particular reference to Phaco-
emulsification (cataract removal) at Moorfields
hospital. As the tissue structure of the eye is more
uniform my images have focussed on fine finger
movements and observations made by following the
procedure through a microscope. Planned drawing
activities will be used as part of microsurgical train-
ing with medical students at Moorfields hospital.
Although the ophthalmic operations observed
have involved different tissue structures, there

appear to be comparable physical practices. All the
observed surgery use of tactile and visual cues are
used to produce accurate, economic movement
with two hands simultaneously in three dimensions.

When considering drawing activities around
the observation of phacoemulsification, different
aspects of haptic perception are more to the fore.
As all the surgical tools are used with the aid of a

microscope, the surgeon has to be confident of the
position of their body and limbs in space, as well
as the fine movements they make in the confined
area of the eye. They use their kinaesthetic and
proprioceptive senses particularly to position and
manipulate tools. This is particularly important at
the beginning of an operation, where the conscious
patient is positioned carefully in order that the
microscope can be placed for the surgeon’s use. In
maxillofacial surgery the surgeon moves around the

Figure 3. Wright Jenny (artist) Image from the-
atre sketchbook showing tool movement. Pencil
on paper 15 x 22 cms Jan 2011

Figure 4. Wright Jenny Image from theatre sketch-
book. Observation of cataract operation. Pencil
on paper 16x21 cms April 2011
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