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Anesthesiologist & Artist

The photographs of Alfred Feingold, M.D.

PHYSICIAN AND PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT: Cardiothoracic surgeon Lawrence Dacey, M.D. (left), and physician assistant Ryan Hafner are replacing a heart valve. The foreground image was taken in the middle of the procedure, while the surgeon was using a suction catheter to siphon blood away from the incision. The background image, showing only the hands, was taken later, while the incision was being closed. Dacey has been on the faculty since 1993; he did some of his training at DHMC and also holds a master's degree from Dartmouth's evaluative clinical sciences program.

One of the hardest things to do is to get the right scale. If you back off to show the lights and the faces, then you lose the detail in the hands. And if you move in to show the hands, then you miss the concentration of the surgeons. This overlay allows me to do both. ORs are a very difficult area to photograph because in a lot of work, the meaning comes from the face—from the nose, from the lips. When you take surgical pictures, you lose this important dimension of human meaning. All I have is the eyes, the hands, and the body posture. It's not easy to tell a story with the nose and the lips covered.

UNMASKED: Orthopaedic surgeon Kathleen Moen, M.D. (left), is working here with resident Jorge Brito, M.D. (center), and Jessica Pelow, a fourth-year medical student at the University of Buffalo who was doing a surgical rotation at DHMC. They are not wearing masks because they've just finished a procedure; they're now putting a cast on after having removed an extra toe from a child's foot. A larger-than-life-size x-ray appears to be taped to the wall behind them. And the overhead fluorescent lights, angled in on both sides of the frame, resemble rays of sunlight.


I had an earlier image of Moen with a mask on. She looked just like anyone else. So when I saw this one with her mask off—and I saw it came out well—I knew I had to work with this image. The fluoroscope machine [on the left] shows what the operation was. It shows that there are small pins or nails that they put in the child's foot—that's the fixation device used in this operation.

INTRICATE MOVES: Eye surgeon Susan Pepin, M.D., is using microsurgical techniques to perform a cataract extraction. After she removes the cataract—a lens that has become cloudy—she'll replace it with a synthetic lens.


The interesting thing about eye surgery is that the surgeon is almost motionless, as compared to other operations where the body and arms are moving around. Ophthalmological surgeons are almost frozen, with their hands making intricate, small motions. I got a picture of this surgeon looking through the operative microscope, and then dropped behind it a picture of her hands and the eye. With ophthalmologic surgery, the light is so bright that I don't need any other light. In fact, I have to stop down my camera to get a decent picture—otherwise the light wipes out the image.

FROM THE HEART: Resident S. Scott Lollis, M.D. (left), is helping cardiothoracic surgeon William Nugent, M.D., do a coronary artery bypass. Nugent has been on the faculty since 1983; Lollis is a 1998 graduate of Dartmouth College.


Here the foreground is being enveloped by the background. And notice the attention, the concentration, the body posture of the surgeon and the resident. You can tell this is a coronary bypass because these are the kind of catheters they put in the heart when they do a bypass. And the patient's on a heart-lung pump, too— you can see the spiral tube that sucks blood in and out of the heart.

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