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Rodent Surgery Training Tutorial

Training Requirements

Personnel must complete the following training prior to performing rodent surgical procedures at Penn State:

  1. Complete this ARP Rodent Surgery Training tutorial.
  2. View modules 1 & 2 of the NIH Rodent Survival Surgerytraining videos available online. To find the videos go to the NIH training resources page and scroll down to Rodent Survival Surgery and open the menu. Note: Those who will be performing only nonsurvival surgery do not need to watch these videos.
  3. Read the IACUC Rodent Surgery Guidelines.
  4. Obtain additional specific training from experienced personnel.

Overview of the Surgery Tutorial

Included within this tutorial are recommendations for learning and conducting surgical procedures as well as details regarding each step, from planning the procedure to post operative recovery. Personnel with reasonable dexterity can master most common rodent surgical techniques by adhering to basic principles. However, the new surgeon should be aware that there is much to learn and it can be difficult to maintain focus on performing a surgical technique while also maintaining sterility and trying to monitor anesthetic depth. Overall surgical competence will develop with practice and with careful attention to details.

Contents of the Online Tutorial

  1. General Principles of Surgery
  2. Record Keeping
  3. Anesthesia and Analgesia
  4. Instrument Preparation
  5. Animal Preparation
  6. Conducting Surgery
  7. Postoperative Care
  8. Pain Recognition

Completing the Online Tutorial

Read through each topic page starting with #1, General Principles of Surgery. At the bottom of each topic page is a hyperlink that will take you to the next topic or you may click on the training tutorial home hyperlink to bring you back to this page.

Additional Specific Training

Training for specific surgical procedures may be obtained from Animal Resource Program personnel or Penn State research personnel. In general, when learning a new procedure:

  • Familiarize yourself with the relevant anatomy of the species you will be using.
  • Observe an experienced surgeon perform the procedure.
  • Develop your technique first using cadaver animals.
  • If available, practice the procedure on anesthetized animals that will be euthanized before recovery from anesthesia.
  • It is not recommended that you try to obtain experimental data from practice or training animals.

Proceed to General Principles of Surgery