The Surgical Photography Ladder

March 14, 2012 § 1 Comment

The pictures above and the following text are taken from the article “Aufgaben und Probleme der medizinischen Photographie” (Tasks and problems in medical photography) by Wolfgang Müller and Waldemar Wirth. The article was published in two parts in the February and April 1967 issues of Visum – Das medizinische Bildjournal (Visum – the medical visual journal).

The Surgical Photography Ladder

The tasks and prerequisites for photography in the operating room, in addition to the photographic equipment required to obtain informative images, have been discussed above. Bringing these tasks, conditions and the necessary equipment into harmony to produce truly successful photographs is one of the most difficult problems we have tackled at the Giessen Surgical University Clinic.

The author have learned that producing informative photos using a handheld camera, without disturbing the operation or entering into the strictly sterile zone, is very difficult. Also, all tests with commercially available tripods have been unsatisfactory, because the camera was never over, but always next to the surgical field and could never reach the viewpoint of the surgeon.

The “More”, that this photographer believed he could contribute to the surgical photos, led, after many trials and considerations, to the development of an applicable operation ladder which has proved to be extremely useful.

The ladder is 2 m high and therefore suitable for all body sizes. It has a padded chest support. A special feature is the side and height adjustable camera mount with a ball joint head. Brackets are provided for attaching sterile drapes. In addition, the ladder provides the ability to set up a flash. When not in use, the flash handle can be placed in a holder. A shelf is available for lenses and films.

As a rule, one places the ladder behind the operator, which then sees the camera over his shoulder. The camera, equipped with long focal length lenses and attached with the special arm to the ladder, covers every important situation from the correct viewpoint, without disturbing or without entering the strictly sterile zone, and is always ready for use.

My (not very fluent) translation.

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