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Resection of Meningeal Tumour



Completed on:

Tools used:

Prof. Michael Corrin¹, Prof. Margot Mackay¹, Dr. Michael Cusimano² ³ (content expert)

Surgical residents

Jun. 2017

Pen and Ink, Adobe Illustrator

This is a 4-page excerpt from a longer series of sequential illustrations, detailing the craniotomy, resection, and closure of a meningioma (tumour of the meninges) removal procedure. To document the procedure, the live surgical procedure was observed at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, extensive notes were taken, and references were collected. Next, many iterative pencil drafts of the figures were made. This iterative process was aided by peer and faculty critique, as well as consultation of the observed surgeons and an anatomist. Finally, the sequence was rendered using pen and ink.

This project won the Award of Merit in the "Student Instructional Surgical category" at the 72nd Annual AMI Meeting  (2017), in Austin TX:   LINK

¹Biomedical Communications, University of Toronto, ²Division of Neurosurgery, St. Michael's Hospital, ³Keenan Research Centre, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael's Hospital

Process Work

1. Rationale

Microneurosurgery combines surgical expertise and microscopy precision to overcome challenging brain procedures, and this project afforded an opportunity to create instructional surgical visualizations for publication or surgical education. My surgical observation partner (Amanda Miller) and I observed a microneurosurgical procedure at St Michael's Hospital. The surgical team led by Dr. Michael Cusimano granted us permission to collect comprehensive data, including written notes, surgical photography, video captures, and surgical microscope recordings. Following the observation, further background research was done on surgical technique and anatomical components involved.

2. Establishing Narrative

The procedure script was compiled from collected data, and partitioned into sections and steps. The script was refined through expert consultation with the neurosurgical team and with surgical illustrators (Michael Corrin, Margot Mackay).

3. Drafting and Iteration

Visual pacing and perspectives were established through thumbnailing. Referencing from collected data, illustration drafts were done to introduce relevant surgical details. Multiple draft revisions were carried out to further iterate upon illustration fidelity and accuracy.

4. Layout and Rendering

The final deliverable was to be pen and ink surgical illustrations compiled with figure descriptions printed on sequential portrait 8.5'' x 11'' pages in a textbook layout. A select sequence excerpt from the full procedure series was inked through traditional pen and ink technique on vellum, and compiled into a 4-page layout.


Agur, Anne M.R., and Dalley, Arthur F. Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy 14e. Philedelphia: L.W.W. 2016.

Tew, John M., Loveren, van Loveren, Harry R., and Keller, Jeffrey T. Atlas of Operative Microneurosurgery, Vol 2: Brain Tumours. Philedelphia: W.B. Saunders Company. 2001.

“Yarsargil Bayonet Microsurgical Tumour Forcep 9”. ” MSI Precision Specialty Instruments. Accessed March, 2017. http://www.msiprecision.com/p/6839-Yasargil-Bayonet-Microsurgical-Tumor-Forcep-9.aspx