The video camera in the foreground is a sure sign this surgery from 50 years ago was not an everyday procedure. Most likely it is a thoracic case, quite possibly a left thoracotomy, according to a combination of clues in the photo: the instrument table over the patient’s lower torso, the scrub nurse elevated on a step stool, the chest X-ray on the wall, the surgeon positioned on the patient’s left side. “The surgery is being televised and filmed for later presentation because it was far from routine,” suggests professor emeritus Nicholas Rossi, MD, a 40-year member of the cardiothoracic surgery faculty.
F.W. Kent Collection of Photographs, University Archives, University of Iowa Libraries