Location for Surgery
The surgical area should be uncluttered and easily disinfected. The area should be dedicated to surgery during the procedure but may be used for other purposes when not being used for surgery. Patient preparation (fur removal) and recovery should take place in a location separate from the surgical area.
Rodent survival surgery must be performed using sterile gloves, a clean lab coat or gown and a facemask. A head covering is recommended to reduce the risk of stray hair falling into the operative field.
Opening the surgical pack
Place the pack in a convenient location near the animal. It should be opened before donning sterile gloves (or have an assistant open the pack).
Draping the surgical site
The skin and hair surrounding the surgical site may be covered with a surgical drape. The drape effectively enlarges the sterile area around the surgical site helping to prevent contamination of sterile instruments, suture material, and the surgeon's gloves. The drape material should be included within the surgical pack and placed after the surgeon has donned sterile gloves. Extra drape material may be included within the sterile pack and used to set instruments on during surgery.
Surgeons and support staff must work together to maintain sterility during the surgical procedure. Sterile articles must touch only sterile surfaces and all sterile surfaces should be kept as dry as possible. If contamination of surgical gloves or equipment is suspected, new sterile gloves or equipment should be substituted for the contaminated material.
It is advisable to have an assistant available during the procedure.
Place sterile instruments on a sterile surface when not in use.
Do not touch non sterile surfaces when wearing sterile gloves.
Proper suturing technique requires practice. Avoid placing sutures too tightly. Tight sutures inflame the tissues and may cause the animal to chew at the incision. Consult with a veterinarian to select a suture material that is appropriate for your procedure. The surgery CD provides a module on suture tying.