The Hidden World of Surgery; July 1996; Scientific American Magazine; by Aguilera-Hellweg; 6 Page(s)
The first thing I saw when I walked into the room with my camera was the patient, hanging in midair, suspended from the ceiling by a clamp screwed into his skull. His eyes were taped shut, and the sound of his heart, amplified and projected from speakers, filled the room.
"Stenosis," the surgeon said, the word for a narrowing. The spinal column had calcified and was applying enough pressure on the spinal cord within the column to paralyze the man. Hanging him from the ceiling allowed the vertebrae to stretch out completely so the surgeon could cut and cauterize with precision; one false move could paralyze him forever.