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This module covers principles of pre-operative animal assessment and care, preparations for surgery including equipment preparation and aseptic technique and the principles of successful surgery. The module provides information about possible complications, post-operative care and monitoring along with details of the healing process. It also covers more practical elements for example the demonstration of commonly used instruments and provide an opportunity for trainees to practice some of the practical aspects of surgical technique, such as methods of suturing, using appropriate non-animal models.

Trainees should be able to:

22.1. Explain the relevance and need for pre-operative assessment and, where appropriate, conditioning.

22.2. Identify sources of reference for good surgical practice

22.3. Describe the process of tissue healing and relate to this to the importance of asepsis and hygienic practices, wound creation, the principles of tissue handling and selection of a suitable surgical approach

22.4. Discuss possible causes of delayed or impaired wound healing or other post-surgical complications and describe ways in which these can be avoided or, if they occur, treated

22.5. Describe in general terms how personnel, animals, instruments and equipment should be prepared for aseptic surgery

22.6. List the principles of successful surgery (e.g. Halstead’s principles) and indicate how to achieve these

22.7. Describe the characteristics of different, commonly-used instruments, suture materials and needles

22.8. Relate the importance of good technique in accessing surgical sites, handling tissues and repairing incisions

22.9. Indicate the characteristics of different suture patterns and their applicability to different situations

22.10. Demonstrate how to place a suture correctly

22.11. Describe common post-surgical complications and their causes

22.12. Relate the principles of post-surgical care and monitoring

22.13. Describe the planning of surgical procedures and discuss the competencies required of all personnel involved

22.14. Demonstrate competence in surgical techniques, including ablations and incisions and their closure by methods appropriate to the tissue concerned

22.15. Describe particular aspects of care appropriate for animals before, during and after surgical or any other potentially painful intervention