Fig. (3) The anterior cervical approach to the spine (cross-sectional view): note the potential space created by dissection in the plane
between the carotid sheath and the midline viscera. The carotid sheath structures are retracted laterally, and the esophagus and trachea are
retracted medially to expose the ventral surface of the spine. Adapted with permission from: Albert T, Balderston R, Northrup B. Surgical
Approaches to the Spine. Philadelphia: WB Saunders 1997; p. 10 .