So how could you perform surgery in space?
In the case of medical emergencies onboard a spacecraft, the main challenge facing astronauts are the effects of microgravity, for example:
• Both the surgeon and patient must be strapped down to prevent either one from drifting away.
• Blood and other fluids can stick to the instruments because of the change in surface tension.
• Traditional surgical techniques for common aliments like appendicitis require large incisions and potential bleeding, leading to blood floating in the environment, a potential issue for everyone on board.
• Surgical equipment can be bulky and largely incompatible with the confined, strictly organised environment of a space capsule.
To tackle these issues, scientists in space agencies around the world have been developing some of the biggest advances in surgical care and technology.