Microsurgical Vessel Coupling. Head and neck. Russian Journal. 2022;10(1):16–20 (In Russian).
Introduction: Since the 1970’s microvascular free tissue transfer has become an important part of head and neck reconstruction training. Arguably, one of the biggest advantages since then, has been the introduction of the vessel coupler which provides intima to intima closure and significantly decreases the time needed to perform an anastomosis. Traditionally, live animal models have been used fortraining, however given the cost and ethics regarding such models, others have beeninvestigated for microsurgical suturing. Unfortunately, most of these models lack the physical properties needed to practice coupling techniques and none have been investigated for this purpose.
Methods: Participants from the microvascular training course held by amicrovascular Head and Neck team in Omaha, NE dissected chicken thigh vessels, measured vessel diameter, and performed successful coupling using standard microvascular techniques. Items measured included total time to dissect and expose chicken thigh vessels, coupler size used for anastomosis, total time required to perform theanastomosis and vessel patency after anastomosis measured with intraluminal dye injection.
Results: The average time to expose the neurovascular bundle was 4.47 (+/- 3.40)minutes and average time to perform the coupling procedure was 6.70 (+/- 2.29) minutes for all participants. Average coupler size used was 2.18 (+/-0.42) mm and no vessel used was smaller than 1.5mm. All vessels that were coupled by study participants were successfully patent.
Conclusion: The chicken thigh model provides consistent caliber vessels well suited for microvascular training. This model is cheap, accessible and works well for novice and experienced health professionals and trainees.Involvement: All authors wereinvolved in acquisition of data as well as creation and review of the document.
Disclosure: The authors have nothing to disclose.