Even though the caliber of the rat femoral vein is larger than that of the rat femoral artery, its fragility makes both dissection and anastomosis more challenging to perform.
Another factor compounding the difficulty of the rat femoral vein model is the thin muscular layer of the vein, which tends to collapse when the vascular lumen is not filled.
Probably the best way to keep the vein round and open, in order to see the needle inside its lumen and to avoid a backstitch, is to partially submerge it in water. We strongly encourage you to carry out at least a few steps of this exercise with complete submersion of the vessels. In case you are disturbed by reflections on the water surface, consider dimming the light of your microscope.
In the video, the exercise is presented with just a small amount of additional fluid for the sake of better visibility.
Table setup and materials
The setup is the same as for the rat femoral artery model.
Again, be careful not to subject the hind limb and its intrinsic vessels to excessive