Use of animal models
Before you proceed to living models, make sure you have mastered the respective nonliving models.
Prepare yourself for each exercise by repeating the video section first and taking additional personal notes to learn more efficiently.
Work with high concentration and use each animal as extensively as you can to keep the number of animals you use to the minimum needed to achieve your goal.
Performing a learning session on each rat model requires more time than is needed for exercises on the latex and chicken leg models. Besides a far more extensive dissection, more pre- and postoperative effort is needed here, so short sessions are inefficient. We recommend that you plan sessions of several hours to be able to perform a maximum number of exercises with each animal. However, in order to sustain a high level of performance and to avoid discomfort, remember to take breaks frequently.
Minimum requirements for efficient learning
Before you start working ask yourself:
Are you calm and concentrated?
Are you sitting correctly?
Is your microscope well adjusted?
Is your table set up correctly?
Are your hands well supported on the table?
Table setup and materials
The shaven and anesthetized rat is placed in the middle of the rat board. A cotton swab with a rod is placed in the animal’s mouth to immobilize the tongue in a lateral position and prevent asphyxiation. To flatten out the hind limbs, wind a circular rubber band around each lower leg and pass it through itself. Then pin it down. Make sure that the rubber bands are loose enough not to cut off blood supply to the feet.
The respective macrosurgical and microsurgical instruments are placed well apart from each other.
A 20 ml syringe with a rubber catheter for irrigation and a cup of water are placed with the microsurgical instruments. A sponge at the bottom of the cup
prevents damage to the fine tips of the microsurgical instruments when they are submerged in the water between operation steps, to keep blood and other tissues from adhering to them. Background material, vascular clamps and approximator, as well as the clamp applying forceps can also be submerged between operation steps.
In this model we use 10.0 suture.
Gauze, cotton swabs with and without rods, retractors made from bent paper clips, as well as pins and rubber bands are placed with the macrosurgical instruments.
A 2 ml syringe with a fine needle is used for draining the animal’s bladder if it is full and obstructing part of the operating field.