Microsurgery with a plastic surgeon… (Day 561)

Microsurgery femoral anastomosis vet student

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Pet Hooligans

Today was pretty amazing and among my top days so far of vet school. Some things are rarely taught to vet students and one of them is microsurgery, this is surgery that is done under a operating microscope. This is generally used in human surgery fields such as neurosurgery and vascular surgery (surgery on the arteries and veins). Now the university here works closely with the human hospitals so today we had a plastic surgeon visiting to carry out training.

Now I asked if I could join them and got a yes so spent most of my morning learning about vascular surgery before being taught the basics of using a operating microscope. It really was fascinating and has set me thinking about how a operating microscope could be used when doing surgery on our smaller patients.

Microsurgery femoral anastomosis vet student

Watching the surgeon work was absolutely amazing as he was able to place 7 stitches into a artery that was around 1mm wide! Now obviously this means that the suture material had to be really thin, in fact I would go far enough to say that it was pretty much invisible to the naked eye. Now there are special techniques and special tools that are used in this type of surgery, however it is also a lot of training as you have to learn depth perception under the microscope, as well as get the extremely small movements that are used during the surgery.

The university doesn’t have any micro-surgery instruments as the human surgeons visiting bring their own so I am hopeful that I may be able to pick some instruments up over the next few months. I really think that being able to get better visualisation of blood vessels would give better control of bleeding and so improve patient outcomes so it is something I really want to try!

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