Art by HSL Medical Illustrator Featured on Medical Journal Cover

Posting Date

The HSL’s Medical Visuals team is proud to announce the feature of their artwork on the June 2024 cover of the Wiley Head & Neck journal. This illustration, one piece in a larger project, meticulously depicts the Radial Osteocutaneous Forearm Free Flap (OCRFFF) surgical procedure. Having an illustration selected as the cover of a journal is a great accomplishment as a medical illustrator and helps raise awareness and recognition of the article written for the journal.

Collaborating closely with The Department of Otolaryngology Division of Head and Neck Oncology at The Ohio State University James Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the most experienced head and neck cancer teams across the country, the project will feature the various free flap procedures performed by the team. Specifically, the OCRFFF illustration was prioritized by surgeons from The James for separate publication in Wiley Head & Neck alongside their research article on this flap. Notably, step four of the illustrated procedure was selected from the issue’s articles as the cover art by the journal.

The Radial Osteocutaneous Forearm Free Flap is a crucial technique employed in repairing defects caused by head or neck cancer. The surgical process involves harvesting a flap, complete with its blood supply and a segment of bone from the forearm, and delicately transplanting it into the affected area. The goal of the accompanying illustrations was to orient readers to key anatomical structures, focusing solely on flap removal without intricate surgical technique details, transplantation, or closure. Minimal instrumentation was used to ensure clarity without obstructing the anatomical view, maintaining consistency in arm position throughout to aid orientation. Step four of the procedure specifically illustrates the precise use of a saw or sagittal blade to harvest 50% of the radius bone.

The partnership between medical illustrators and doctors is essential and characterized by collaboration and expertise. Medical illustrators translate complex medical concepts into clear visual representations, aiding doctors in patient education, surgical planning and training. In return, doctors provide clinical expertise and insight, enabling medical illustrators to create accurate and informative visuals. Together, we work towards enhancing medical education and patient care through effective visual communication and collaboration.

The selection of this illustration for the journal cover underscores the indispensable role of medical illustrators in the field of medicine, emphasizing their crucial contribution to advancing healthcare knowledge and patient care.


Courtney Fleming standing in front of bookcase with a medical illustration overlayed on the image