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Graphite Drawings Of Surgical Steps Of Removing A Cavernous Malformation
Graphite Drawings Of Surgical Steps Of Removing A Cavernous Malformation
Cavernous Malformation Removal Surgery
Line Drawing Of Cervical Spine Anatomy And Location Of Cavernous Malfromation
Schematic of surgical opening
4th Step Of Surgery, Line Drawing And Final Artwork Comparison
Step 4: Mobilization of Denticulate ligament and revealing the malformation


Gary Lees, Art as Applied to Medicine Department, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Medical Illustration

Professional & Academic Education

Neurology & Neurosurgical


A cavernous malformation (cavernoma, cavernous angioma, or cav-mal) is a vascular malformation – a tangle of thin-walled capillaries that can leak and damage tissue if occuring in the brain or spinal cord. Since they can grow slowly over time, it is generally advised to remove them in young patients. This cavernous malformation was located in the spinal cord at the level of the 7th cervical vertebra. A laminectomy and cavnerous malformation removal was preformed. 

The procedure was observed and sketched. The major steps were researched and drawn. Schematics of the spinal cord, meninges, cervical vertebrae, and malformation were created. These were helpful to communicate with the surgeon to visualize the precise location of the malformation and which layers of tissue were divided. A cross section was created to convey the size of the malformation and degree of compression on the spinal cord. The layout was restricted to just one page to reflect the size requirements of a typical surgical journal. 

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