Surgery

See also
Policy 2011-041, Storage of Sterile Materials Used in Research Animals
Note
For heat, pressure and/or sensitive items that cannot be autoclaved, two facilities on campus offer alternatives:

UW-Hospital Reprocessing Services: 608-263-7231 or 608-263-9009
provides gas sterilization (ethylene oxide)and low-temperature STERRAD Plasma sterilization

WIMR: surgery@primate.wisc.edu

Aseptic technique must be used during surgery to minimize the possibility of introducing infection. Anything that touches the animal must be sterile. Antibiotics do NOT replace aseptic techniques.

Aseptic technique includes handling tissue gently to minimize tissue damage.

NOTE: Exceptions or deviations from the standards below must be scientifically justified in the applicable animal protocol and approved by an IACUC.

Standards for aseptic surgery in non rodent

  • sterilize all instruments, supplies, and implanted materials for each surgery session; sterilization can be by autoclave, gas, liquid chemical sterilant
  • use a dedicated surgery suite with these functional components:
    • surgical support (place to clean surgical packs, autoclave, etc.)
    • animal preparation area (for shaving and scrubbing animal)
    • surgeon's scrub area
    • actual operating room
    • post-op recovery area
  • prepare the animal for surgery:
    • shave or pluck hair
    • scrub with surgical scrub
    • final "rinse" with alcohol/povidone-iodine solution
  • prepare the surgeon:
    • surgical scrub
    • mask, booties
    • sterile gown and gloves

After surgery

  • document post-op recovery monitoring
  • remove wound clips, sutures, staples, etc. within 14 days of the surgery—be sure to DOCUMENT.

Contact an attending veterinarian to find acceptable surgery facilities on campus and for further help with protocols that include surgery.

See also
Policy 2011-041, Storage of Sterile Materials Used in Research Animals
Note
For heat, pressure and/or sensitive items that cannot be autoclaved, two facilities on campus offer alternatives:

UW-Hospital Reprocessing Services: 608-263-7231 or 608-263-9009
provides gas sterilization (ethylene oxide)and low-temperature STERRAD Plasma sterilization

WIMR: surgery@primate.wisc.edu

Use of a dedicated surgery suite is not required, but a clean uncluttered area not used for other purposes during the surgery is necessary. Anything touching the incision site or inside the incision site must be sterile.

Exceptions or deviations from the standards below must be scientifically justified in the applicable animal protocol and approved by an IACUC.

NOTE: Maintenance of normal body temperature during surgery and recovery is vital to survival in small animals.

Standards for aseptic surgery in rodents

  • use a clean uncluttered area not used for other purposes during the surgery
  • sterilize all instruments (autoclaved, gas-sterilized)
  • maintain sterility of instruments using a glass bead sterilizer (available on loan from RARC) or by cold sterilization in appropriate solutions (e.g., Clidox), with a rinse in sterile water or saline
  • prepare the animal:
    • shave or pluck hair
    • scrub with povidone iodine
    • rinse with alcohol, being careful not to chill the animal
  • prepare the surgeon:
    • surgical scrub
    • gloves
    • mask (when possible)
    • clean lab coat or surgical scrubs

After surgery

  • document post-op recovery monitoring (see Anesthesia Records)
  • monitor until normal righting reflexes return—be sure to DOCUMENT the monitoring!
  • remove wound clips, staples, sutures, etc. within 14 days of surgery (document this too)

Contact an attending veterinarian to find acceptable surgery facilities on campus and for further help in the development of surgery protocols.

Post-Op Monitoring

After full recovery from anesthesia and return to its home cage, the animal must be examined and the findings recorded according to the following conditions and schedules.

Animal can stand and move but is not eating and drinking normally:

  • call a lab animal veterinarian
  • examine the animal twice daily
  • check heart rate, respiration rate, and color*
  • check condition of the surgical site
  • check body temperature; if abnormal take appropriate steps to correct*
  • assess hydration and provide fluids as necessary
  • assess animal behavior
  • consider use of analgesic medication (as per protocol); record time, route of administration, and dosage provided

*Monitoring some parameters may not be feasible in some species.

Animal is active, alert, eating, and drinking normally:

  • examine daily for a minimum of 5 days if an invasive procedure was performed (3 days for a noninvasive procedure, such as imaging)
  • maintain a record of surgical site care until the sutures or skin staples are removed; sutures should be removed within 10–14 days of surgery

Animal is normal and skin sutures have been removed:

  • specific postsurgical care is no longer required; the record ends

Questions? Contact a laboratory animal veterinarian for guidance.