An introduction to experimental surgery


This series of articles provides guidance and information to individuals who will undertake surgical procedures on animals as part of their research work. These articles should be read in conjunction with the those in Anaesthesia for Minor Procedures (EU20) and Advanced Anaesthesia for Surgical or Prolonged Procedures (EU21) since these provide more detail on preoperative and postoperative care of animals.

Additional information on specific surgical procedures can be found in Waynforth and Flecknell (1992), Rigalli, A and Di Loreto, (2009), and a range of veterinary texts. Video tutorials are also available to assist with specific procedures (e.g. telemeter implantation).

Aims of experimental surgery

In contrast to the aims of surgery carried out for veterinary or medical purposes, experimental surgery aims to produce a carefully defined animal model in order that a disease, condition or basic anatomical/physiological feature may be studied in vivo. In order to achieve this, the same principles that apply to veterinary or medical surgical procedures must be adopted. These general principles – “Halsted’s principles” – lay out clear guidelines that must be followed to optimise the outcomes of surgery:

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Updated on 12th May 2020

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