Congratulations to Amanda L. Amin, MD, and Tracy S. Wang, MD, MPH, of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; they coauthored the winning Image of the Year for 2011. It was a year of diverse and fascinating images, each illustrating a valuable teaching point. Choosing a single winner was difficult. The winning Image of the Month article on right-sided inferior nonrecurrent laryngeal nerve appeared in the November 2011 issue (Arch Surg. 2011;146(11):1327-1328. The image of a right-sided nonrecurrent laryngeal nerve is an elegant illustration of an anatomic variant waiting to ambush an unwary surgeon. Although we all were taught about this variant during our education in anatomy and embryology, its rarity can lead to its falling through our mental “floorboards.” The cervical region it inhabits is traversed by a wide variety of surgeons, including those specializing in general surgery, otolaryngology, trauma, endocrinology, oncology, vascular surgery, thoracic surgery, and neurosurgery, giving these images broad relevance. The operative photograph is particularly well done. The operative field is cleanly dissected. The image perspective is close enough to identify the critical structures while at sufficient distance to appreciate their anatomic relationships. The computed tomographic image, albeit obtained postoperatively, nicely demonstrates the embryologic arch abnormality that gives the aberrant course to the nerve. The other complications of the vascular abnormality are also touched on in the brief and informative summary. In short, the authors have provided useful images carefully made and selected that may help surgeons avoid unnecessary operative misadventure. We give them our thanks and congratulations.
Please revisit our November 2011 issue to “Make the Diagnosis.”
Image of the Year for 2011. Arch Surg. 2011;146(12):1367. doi:10.1001/archsurg.146.12.1367