An enhanced fresh cadaveric model for reconstructive microsurgery training

Tarak Agrebi Moumni Chouari (Corresponding Author), Karen Lindsay, Ellen Bradshaw, Simon Parson, Lucy Watson, Jamil Ahmed, Alain Curnier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


Background Performing microsurgery requires a breadth and depth of experience that has arguably been reduced as result of diminishing operating exposure. Fresh frozen cadavers provide similar tissue handling to real-time operating; however, the bloodless condition restricts the realism of the simulation. We describe a model to enhance flap surgery simulation, in conjunction with qualitative assessment. Methods The fresh frozen cadaveric limbs used in this study were acquired by the University. A perfused fresh cadaveric model was created using a gelatin and dye mixture in a specific injection protocol in order to increase the visibility and realism of perforating vessels, as well as major vessels. A questionnaire was distributed amongst 50 trainees in order to assess benefit of the model. Specifically, confidence, operative skills, and transferable procedural-based learning were assessed. Results Training with this cadaveric model resulted in a statistically significant improvement in self-reported confidence (p < 0.005) and prepared trainees for unsupervised bench work (p < 0.005). Respondents felt that the injected model allowed easier identification of vessels and ultimately increased the similarity to real-time operating. Our analysis showed it cost £10.78 and took 30 min. Conclusions Perfusion of cadaveric limbs is both cost- and time-effective, with significant improvement in training potential. The model is easily reproducible and could be a valuable resource in surgical training for several disciplines. Level of Evidence: Not ratable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-446
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Plastic Surgery
Issue number4
Early online date25 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

Open access via Springer Compact
The generosity of the people of the North East of Scotland who donated their bodies to the University of Aberdeen for anatomical study is recognised. Their contribution is appreciated and valued.
The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


  • Cadaveric training
  • Surgical training
  • Hand surgery
  • Microsurgery
  • Gelatine injection


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