Recent years have seen the possibilities of new imaging and interaction technologies for minimally invasive surgery such as touchless interaction and high definition renderings of three-dimensional anatomy. With this paper we take a step back to review the historical introduction and assimilation of imaging technologies in the surgical theatre in parallel with the productive and cross-referential nature of surgical practice and image use. We present findings from a field study of image use during neurosurgery where we see that the work to see medical images is highly constructed and embodied with the action of manipulating the body. This perspective lends itself to a discussion of the directions for new imaging interaction technologies.