Why do surgeons wear green or blue?

No it was not a random color. According to Susannah Locke at Scienceline, surgeons in particular benefit from the colors green or blue as opposed to white for two reasons:

First, looking at blue or green can refresh a doctor’s vision of red things, including the bloody innards of a patient during surgery. The brain interprets colors relative to each other. If a surgeon stares at something that’s red and pink for too long, he becomes desensitized to it.

Second, such deep focus on red, red, red can lead to distracting green illusions on white surfaces. These funky green ghosts could appear if a doctor shifts his gaze from reddish body tissue to something white, like a surgical drape or an anesthesiologist’s alabaster outfit. A green illusion of the patient’s red insides may appear on the white background. The distracting image would follow the surgeon’s gaze wherever he looks, similar to the floating spots we see after a camera flash.

The phenomenon occurs because white light contains all the colors of the rainbow, including both red and green. But the red pathway is still tired out, so the red versus green pathway in the brain signals “green.”

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