I shot this photo in Paris, France during a laparoscopic prostatectomy. This procedure involves the removal of the prostate (“ectomy” is Latin for removal) using a laparoscope. I know many of you know this, but for those who are new to surgery, the surgeon is holding a “trocar” which will be inserted through the skin. Once the trocar is placed, it is removed, leaving a hollow cannula. The surgeon will place multiple cannulas and then use a scope and instruments to perform surgery. This is a minimally invasive approach and will result in less scarring, disfigurement and faster recover.
A quick note on my surgical photography: First, I never use special lighting – it’s a very harsh light which I have learned to love. Also, I never ask anyone on the surgical team to pose; I only want to catch natural movements in this incredible light. This is from a past magazine cover but thought I’d add it to my collection. Thank you Springer Magazine for giving me the opportunity!
I am completely fascinated with photographing the hands of the surgeon and the surgical team. To me they look like an elegant sculpture. I was very humbled and honored to have one of my images posted in the New York Times – both electronically and in the actual newspaper (below). For fun, I inserted the color image so you can see the difference. This photo was taken in Paris, France during an open heart procedure – you can see the surgeon is reaching for an instrument, the other hand covering the heart. These are very intense cases and the surgeons and their teams are quite brilliant to watch. I value and always appreciate the opportunity to capture these incredible moments.
Here is another surgical image that I took in Paris, France. I studied photography at the Speos Paris Photographic Institute (Which I’ll tell you more about in a later blog). My background is in the medical industry so when I took a year off to “Eat, Pray, Love” my experience involved moving to Paris and photography. (Among other things – wine, cafe crèmes, champagne, wonderful food, fabulous people, were some of the other things.) While I was there, I met many of my surgeon contacts / friends and had access into the operating rooms. The image in this photo was taken on a quadruple by-pass. I was in the OR for almost 7 hours which was only a portion of the surgery. I was so amazed at the intensity of the OR team over that much time. Such an amazing team. Again, I am honored to have the Le Point.fr chose this photo for their story. Thank you!
PS: For the translation of La greffe pour lutter contre le déficit de la Sécu I believe it means The transplant to fight against the deficit of the Sécu (Stéphane, I hope I got that right! I’m trying to brush up on my French for my next trip to Europe.)
Would you like a print? Please click on “Contact”. My photography is printed on aluminum. Utilizing an advanced process which infuses dyes directly into the metal, the colors and saturation are really amazing. In addition, your print will be displayed using mount blocks which float the image ½ inch off the wall.
©2013 Shelley D Spray – No content on this site (including all photography) may be reused in any fashion without written permission from the author.
I love photographing in the operating room. To be around a team that is dedicated to saving the patient is just incredible. But to then capture photos of very special moments is something that I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to do. I promise I’ll post a blog and tell you more about what’s involved. For now, I just found a photo of mine that was posted as the headline image in TIME Magazine that I wanted to share. This was a very touching case involving a 6 month baby photographed in Paris, France. I am truly honored that they chose this image to highlight their story. Thank you!
I rarely modify any of my surgery images but this one just seemed like fun. Shot in Frankfurt Germany, this was a cardiovascular operation performed using a robot. This image highlights a bit of the prep before the case. You can’t see the robot in this image but if you click to follow, you’ll be one of the first to travel behind closed doors and see the surgical robot in action!
The delicate handling of instruments during a neurosurgical procedure (brain surgery). Quick note, when I photograph during surgery I only use the natural light found in the operating room. The surgeon in this procedure was Dr. John R Adler, Stanford Professor of Neurosurgery.
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