Background: Though microvascular clamps are widely used for anastomosis training, there still have several shortcomings, including the bulging, expensiveness and unavailability due to sterilization. The aim of this study is to introduce a simple and novel microvascular training model without use of microvascular clamps. Methods: Femoral vessels of Sprague Dawley rats training model were used to evaluate the usefulness of 4-0 silk as a slipknot for performing arterio-arterial and veno-venous microvascular anastomoses. A total of 12 Sprague Dawley rats were randomly assigned to either slipknot group or vascular clamp group. We also assess other endpoints, including ischemic time, patency rate, and clinical features. An additional histological study was performed to compare their immediate traumatic effects on vessel wall. Results: There was no ischemic change or congestive sign in the lower limb after microvascular anastomosis. The total warm ischemic time for the vascular anastomosis was not significantly different. We performed the patency test immediately after microvascular anastomosis and one week after surgery. No intraoperative vascular bleeding was found during these procedures and no thrombosis occurred postoperatively. The histologic damages to occluded area were not significantly different in both groups. Conclusion: We demonstrate a microsurgical suture technique performed without any vascular clamp on a rat model. This rat model was designed for training in the technique of microvascular anastomosis. Compared with microvascular clamps, silk slipknot is a cheap, easily available, less space-occupying technique while performing microvascular anastomoses training. This preliminary study provides a simple and effective alternative method for microvascular anastomosis training.
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