Matera J, Guimaraes Silva RM and Coppi Maciel Ribeiro AA. Is an academic absurd a substitutive method to teach surgical techniques? [abstract]. ALTEX. 2009;26(Special Issue):223-224. Abstract 498


Since 2000 the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sao Paulo, surgical technique classes no longer use living animals for student training. Ethical cadavers are difficult to obtain and thus it is important to reuse preserved specimens. Dogs and cats that died in our veterinary hospital of causes apart from infectious disease or zoonosis were preserved. To preserve animals' cadavers we used modified Larssen solution containing 100 ml of 10% formalin, 400 ml of glycerine, 200 g chloral hydrate, 200 g sodium sulphate, 200 g sodium bicarbonate, 180 g sodium chloride and 2 l of distilled water. One part of the above stock solution was mixed with three parts of distilled water to prepare the working solution using a blender at room temperature. After fixation and between each class use, each cadaver was stored in a bag in a walk-in freezer at -16°C to -20°C.

Each cadaver was used 4-6 times, once for each surgical training laboratory, without emitting decomposition odors and keeping texture, color and consistency of tissues like skin and muscles similar to those of live animals. Different procedures were performed by the students.

The students' feedback on the use of preserved cadavers was that 96.6% of students were in favour of the use of cadavers for surgical training; in 95.1% students' point of view the ideal class would be an initial training on cadavers followed by classes with animals admitted to the veterinary hospital. This preservation technique provides acceptable cadaver quality and tissue handling for use in surgical instruction.

Acknowledge: FAPESP

Link to journal: ALTEX - Alternatives to Animal Experimentation