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Surgical Capabilities

  • Mark R. CampbellEmail author
  • Roger D. Billica
Chapter
  • 212 Downloads

Abstract

Although no surgical procedures have ever been performed on humans during space flight, the risk of a problem arising that requires surgical intervention is nonetheless real. Until the advent of long duration missions in the US Skylab program and the Russian Salyut and Mir programs, the probability of an inflight problem arising that would require a surgical solution was small; thus clinical experience and expertise in performing surgery on humans in microgravity remained quite limited. The lack of on-site surgical expertise was keenly felt when Russian space program officials were faced with the possible medical evacuation of a Salyut 7 cosmonaut who was experiencing abdominal pain thought to be due to appendicitis. Although that episode turned out to have been caused by probable ureterolithiasis rather than appendicitis—the cosmonaut recovered and did not require an early return to Earth—this experience nonetheless underscored a pressing need in space flight.

Keywords

Surgical care in space Space surgery Trauma care in space flight Animal surgery in simulated microgravity Surgical procedures in microgravity Microgravity and surgery International Space Station surgical capability 

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Paris Regional Medical CenterParisUSA
  2. 2.Trilife Health, PCFort CollinsUSA

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