Veterinary Bioscience Institute

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The Veterinary Bioscience Institute (VBI) is an approved continuing education provider American Association of Veterinary State Boards. VBI's courses, webinars and workshops also meet the requirements for Continuing Education Units of ASR, CALAS and AALAS. VBI's training also meets the following standards: ISO9000, cGLP, the 2010 Guide and Council of Europe's Directive 86/609 (ETS 123).

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Rodent surgery and magnification

Posted by: admin | December 27, 2009 | 0 Comments

Rodent surgery has been commonly performed in biomedical research and its frequency has been growing steadily since the development of the transgenic mouse. Now rodent surgery continues to grow with the development of transgenic rat models. Mouse and rat surgical procedures range from relatively simple subcutaneous osmotic pump implantations to much more complicated techniques like heart transplants. Successful rodent surgical techniques require good visualization of the surgical field. The routine use of magnification while performing rodent surgery is growing, but there is little consensus regarding its implementation and use. The ability to perceive fine detail is relevant in all aspects of rodent surgery and plays an integral part in the outcome of the surgery. Traditionally, the use of magnification has been viewed as an aid to failing vision for older or visually impaired rodent surgeons, but the benefits may be more far-reaching and significant. A potential benefit of magnification to rodent surgeons is ergonomical by promoting good posture and thereby reducing musculoskeletal stress. Extended poor posture increases the risk of debilitating injury. This is especially important when a rodent surgeon is required to perform multiple rodent surgeries per day.  Unfortunately, there is no well-designed, peer-reviewed, scientific studies which have addressed the benefits of magnification to the rodent surgeon and to the betterment of rodent surgical techniques. Despite the lack of scientific evidence proving the benefits of magnification use, its use within the rodent surgical field appears to be growing. This is most likely due to anecdotal reports of success passed throughout the community at training workshops and at scientific meetings. Most rodent surgeons who utilize magnification for their procedures would think it inadequate to perform surgery without the aid of magnification. The difficulty lies in convincing other rodent surgeons that their surgical outcomes could be improved with the aid of magnification. This technological advancement must be cost effective and have a reasonable learning curve in order for it to become widely accepted.  Today, rodent surgeons have many cost effective options when it comes to magnification and its use in rodent surgical training. Surgeons can select from various types of surgical microscopes including stand alone (, mounted or table top surgical microscopes ( ). Magnification loupes are also available and at a significantly lower cost than the microscopes. ( Training by experienced rodent surgeons will significantly reduce the learning curve. Rodent surgical workshops are offered during various conferences such as the Academy of Surgical Research and the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science annual meetings. The Veterinary Bioscience Institute offers mobile on site surgical training as well as on-line surgical rodent courses and webinars.             

Additional scientific studies are needed to address if it possible for an experienced rodent surgeon to perform at a higher level with the aid of magnification. Other topics of considerable interest would be if a novice rodent surgeon can develop competence at a faster rate with enhanced vision. Conversely, it should also be investigated if there are   any undesirable side effects to the rodent or the rodent surgeon with routine use of magnification. It is our contention that enhanced visual acuity should be regarded as an asset during any rodent surgical procedure.

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The Veterinary Bioscience Institute (VBI)  is an approved continuing education provider by


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VBI’s training meets the following standards:



VBI’s courses and workshops also meet the requirements for
Continuing Education Units of 

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