Practical guidelines for aseptic surgery in rodents and the management of surgical facilities in a laboratory.
The daily operation and management of an operating suite in a research laboratory varies considerably with that of a veterinary hospital establishment. Rather than the provision of a series of dedicated rodent operating suites, often such facilities only comprise of a separate room, a portion of a room, or even less, an area of a bench which is thoroughly disinfected and prepared for surgery. This area of research generally requires staff with formal training and experience in laboratory animal science. It also requires competance in the use of microsurgical instruments, often ingenuity in ‘manufacturing’ novel devices according to special needs, and regimented facility maintenance and management schedules. In scientific organizations, it is commonly the appointed senior animal technologist (AT) or an experienced scientist, rather than veterinary personnel, who is charged with the responsibility of operating suite management. This article describes the principles used in managing such facilities, how they should be prepared for day-to-day use, how and why they should be routinely maintained and monitored, and reasons why this is necessary. Additionally, it also provides recommendations for the conduct of aseptic surgery on rodents. It focuses on the most commonly used laboratory animals, which include mice, rats, guinea-pigs and rabbits. The general principles described can also be applied to larger animals. Compliance with these principles pre-, intra and post-operatively should ensure reliable and consistent scientific results.
The general principles described can also be
applied to larger animals. Compliance with these
principles pre-, intra and post-operatively should
ensure reliable and consistent scientific results.Discussion
- The importance of asepsis
- Is aseptic technique necessary in rodent surgery?
- Aspects of surgical practice unique to rodents
- What constitutes minor and major surgery?
- Additional considerations.
- What is required for aseptic technique?
- Conditioning, familiarization and health assessment.
- A dedicated rodent surgical facility?
- Maintaining hygiene of operating rooms.
- Preparation of the rodent operating area.
- Operating board/table.
- Care of instruments for microsurgery.
- Selection of instruments for rodent surgery .
- Scrub procedure for the surgeon.
- Log/Record of anaesthesia and surgical procedures.
- Preparation of rodents for experimental surgery.
- The use of surgical drapes
- Maintaining asepsis of instruments & equipment in between use.
- Post-operative care & analgesia.
- Post-operative care of instruments.
- Post-operative care of surgical equipment/materials.
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