How to Use this Site
Content on Vesalius is located in the Vesalius Clinical Folios and Image Archive.
The Image Archive is a collection of the illustrations found throughout the Clinical Folios, organized by topic. To download the full-sized (640x480 pixels) version of an illustration, Vesalius subscribers can click the thumbnail version of the image in the Image Archive.
The Clinical Folios are a collection of graphical educational narratives on surgical anatomy and procedures designed for online reference and study. Unless otherwise noted, all Vesalius narratives and discussions are written by medical professionals. Content in the Vesalius Clinical Folios is arranged by topic and presented under six headings: Narratives, Thumbnails, Transparencies, Exercises, Discussions, and SCALpels.
Each folio in the Clinical Folios has its own unique VID number. The VID (e.g. 1056) is listed under the link to each folio on the topic index pages. If you already know the VID of the folio you want to view, you can save time by entering it in the "Retrieve Folio by VID" form on the Clinical Folios page, then clicking the adjacent button.
Narratives are an ordered series of related images, animations, or short videos linked by descriptive text that together explain the key steps in a surgical procedure or the anatomy relevant to one or more surgical procedures.
Thumbnails are pages that provide an index of the principal images and text paragraphs in a Narrative. The captions associated with each thumbnail image are cross-linked to the corresponding narrative content.
Transparencies are short interactive programs or movies (based on Macromedia's ShockWave or Apple's QuickTime technology) that present a layered or rotational view of surgical anatomy. Short QuickTime videos are also incorporated directly into the most recent narratives.
Exercises allow viewers to assess their understanding of anatomy and radiology, by identifying anatomical structures in illustrations or interpreting radiological images.
SCALpels are PDF files that summarize basic pathologies and treatments in outline format. SCALpels is an acronym for Surgical Core Applied Learning, and these files are intended for study and test preparation.
Vesalius subscribers can additionally:
view the explanatory text for the procedural and anatomy narratives in the Clinical Folios;
customize Vesalius for their own use, by creating Notes, Personal Thumbnails, Presentations, Quizzes, and Mark-Ups, and accessing them through their Personal Pages;
If you're already a subscriber, click the Login button (top left), and then login to be able to view explanatory text in the Clinical Folios narratives, access your Personal Pages, or download content from the Clinical Folios and Image Archive. For information about subscribing, click the Subscribe button in the top left corner of this page.
Certain portions of the Clinical Folios (i.e. Transparencies and short videos in some of the Narratives) rely on QuickTime from Apple or Shockwave from Macromedia so for full access to all folios, you need to make sure that the QuickTime and Shockwave players have been installed in your browser. Both players are free, and can be downloaded and installed on either Windows or Macintosh platforms. To download the QuickTime or Shockwave player plug-in now, click the appropriate icon below:
Personal Pages Notes, Thumbnails, Presentations, Mark-Ups, and Quizzes:
After you login, clicking a thumbnail image (or the image's name) will take you to a 320 x 240-pixel version of the image that can be annotated with drag-and-drop icons and text comments. These "Mark-Ups" can then be saved and retrieved for later reference or modification. To access your Mark-Ups, click the link to your Personal Mark-Ups page at the bottom of any Vesalius page. By passing along the unique Title and numerical Access Code of any Mark-Up, you can share an uneditable version of this Mark-Up with another viewer (subscriber or non-subscriber).
As a subscriber, you can type up to 250 characters of your own Notes into a text window at the bottom of each "frame" in a narrative, then save them for your personal reference by clicking the "Update" button at the bottom of each narrative page. Any text you enter this way will appear in the Notes window for the appropriate frame the next time you visit this page. Notes can be erased by deleting them in the text window, and then clicking the "Update" button. Other Vesalius users will not see your Notes.
Beneath the Notes window of each frame you will see the question, "Include a link to this frame on your Personal Thumbnails page?", followed by two radio buttons labeled "Yes" and "No". By clicking the "Yes" radio button underneath a frame, and then clicking the "Update" button at the bottom of the narrative page, you can add a link to this frame to your Personal Thumbnails page, making it easy for you to return to this frame at some future time. To do so, just click the link at the bottom of any Vesalius page to reach your Personal Thumbnails page, then find and click the link to the frame you want.
After you have added thumbnail images and links to your Personal Thumbnails page, you can use them to create Presentations. Vesalius Presentations consist of an ordered series of the full-size Vesalius images, animations, or videos that correspond to the links on your Personal Thumbnails page, all placed on a single page in the sequence you specify. Your own Notes are presented below each image, in place of the Vesalius text that normally accompanies the image in its narrative. Your Presentations can hold as many frames as you like, allowing you to click down the page from frame to frame as you give your presentation. The frame headings above each frame are numbered sequentially, with titles that you provide. To create a Presentation, add at least one link to your Personal Thumbnails page, then follow the instructions provided on that page.
You can also use the thumbnail images on your Personal Thumbnails page to build Quizzes. A Quiz is an ordered set of Vesalius images, animations, or movies, presented on a single page as a series of thumbnails. Clicking any thumbnail pops open a full-size version of the image in a separate smaller window, along with icons that you can drag and drop to point out structures or techniques. Each thumbnail is accompanied by a question or statement that you provide. Your Quiz can be viewed by any Vesalius subscriber that you provide with the Quiz's title and numerical access code.
For each "frame" in your Quiz (i.e. each combination of one thumbnail image and your accompanying question or statement), you can provide up to five multiple-choice responses for the viewers of your Quiz to select from. At any point in time, you can review the cumulative responses provided by the viewers of your Quiz. Since you are free to use statements instead of questions when building your Quiz, and since you don't need to use the question/answer capability, you can also use the Quiz feature to build your own educational narrative from a series of Vesalius images or movies.
You build a Quiz from your Quiz-Builder page. To add a frame from your Personal Thumbnails page to your Quiz-Builder page, click the "Include?" checkbox at the far right side of the row containing its thumbnail image. After you have selected the frames you want, click the "Update Thumbnails, Presentation, and Quiz-Builder Pages" button beneath the last thumbnail row. The following page will ask you to provide a title for this new Quiz, and then forward you to your Quiz-Builder page.
Image Licensing and Submissions
Many of the images used in the Vesalius Clinical Folios are original illustrations created by Dr. Gary Wind. Others are photographs or radiographic images developed by the Vesalius team or submitted by contributors.
Un-watermarked versions of Vesalius images can be licensed for use in commercial applications, like multimedia works, books, and medical-journal articles. For information on image licensing, or to find out how you can submit images and narratives to the Vesalius Clinical Folios, send e-mail to:
The primary audience for the Vesalius website is the emerging generation of physicians the medical students, resident physicians, and practicing MDs who are currently studying surgical anatomy and techniques. Today's medical students and residents are undertaking their medical education during a period when the Internet has become a ubiquitous and comprehensive information resource. By providing detailed narratives on surgical procedures and anatomy, as well as access to over 15,000 medical images and videos, Vesalius attracts the generation of students and young physicians that turns to the Internet first for almost any informational need.
Accordingly, slightly over half of the traffic on the Vesalius site is generated by universities and medical schools, with the remainder divided primarily among hospitals/medical centers, corporations, and consumers. Well over 1,000 medical institutions and universities in over 200 countries have made extensive use of the Vesalius site since its launch in early 1998.
Click here for a demographic summary of Vesalius Subscribers.
The Vesalius site supports the placement of advertising banners and text on a number of general-interest and topic-specific pages within the site. The hierarchical structure of the Vesalius website allows advertisers and sponsors to target their messages at viewers interested in specific procedures or anatomical topics.
Prospective advertisers should click here for more information about advertising on Vesalius.
"Dispel from your mind the thought that an understanding of the human body in every aspect of its structure can be given in words; the more thoroughly you describe the more you will confuse... I advise you not to trouble with words unless you are speaking to blind men."
Leonardo da Vinci
As a pioneering student of human anatomy, a world-class scientist, and one of history's greatest artists, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) understood in a fundamental way that the sophistication and beauty of human anatomy can be communicated far more effectively with images than with words.
What Leonardo approached from the surface, Flemish anatomist and artist Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) studied from a deeper and more rigorous perspective. As the father of modern gross anatomy, Vesalius was the first to use dissection and direct observation as the foundation for his scientific analysis.
An excellent artist in his own right, Vesalius illustrated his early work himself. In producing his major work, De Humani Corporis Fabrica, Vesalius was eager to disseminate his knowledge of anatomy as widely as possible. Toward this end, he sought artistic talent comparable in quality to the information he had developed, and employed the talents of Jan van Kalkar (a student of Titian) to create his illustrations. Four hundred years after its publication, De Humani Corporis Fabrica stands as an instantly recognizable landmark of the collaboration between art and science.
Our mission at Vesalius is to carry the pioneering tradition established by Vesalius and Leonardo into the 21st century, by creating a state-of-the-art online resource for surgical education.
In accordance with Leonardo's insight, Vesalius relies primarily on graphical communications to explore and explain concepts in surgical anatomy, pathology and intervention.
By providing a continuously updated resource that utilizes a full range of graphical and interactive formats, we hope to make Vesalius a focal point on the Internet for the dissemination of surgical information and understanding.
Who We Are
Vesalius is produced by Lion Reef Software, Inc., a privately-held company specializing in the development of graphical communications for organizations in the medical and surgical commmunities.
Ted Stabler has served as the President of Vesalius' parent company Lion Reef Software since he founded Lion Reef in October, 1993. Ted previously co-founded Cayman Systems, where he was President and CEO from 1987 until 1993. Under Ted's direction, Cayman grew into a profitable, $15 million developer of hardware and software internetworking products for the Apple Macintosh market.
Ted graduated from Harvard College with an AB in Economics, cum laude, in 1981, and received an SM in Management from the Sloan School at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1986.
Director of Art and Education
Gary Wind, MD, FACS is Vesalius' Director of Art and Education, and is responsible for developing original digital illustrations, animations, 3-D anatomical models, and narratives for the Vesalius Clinical Folios.
Dr. Wind is a staff surgeon at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where he has practiced general and laparoscopic surgery since 1980 and has been awarded the Golden Apple teaching award. He is Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), where he holds a joint appointment in the Department of Anatomy and serves as Director of the Microsurgery Course. Dr. Wind has authored and illustrated five surgical texts, the most recent of which is Laparoscopic Anatomy: Abdomen and Pelvis, available now from Williams and Wilkins. He was selected as Honored Member by the American Association of Clinical Anatomists in 2007.
Prior to joining USUHS, Dr. Wind served as staff surgeon with the US Air Force at Malcom Grow Medical Center from 1976-1980. During 1970-1976, Dr. Wind performed his residency in surgery at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. Dr. Wind received a BA degree from Rutgers University in 1966, and an MD degree from Temple University in 1970.
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