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Totally artificial training model for coronary heart surgery: the end of animal experiments?

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Oliver Reuthebuch¹, Dörthe Schmidt¹, Axel Lang², Peter Groscurth² und Marko Turina¹
1Klinik für Herz-und Gefässchirurgie, UniversitätsSpital, CH-Zürich
2Institut für Anatomie, Universität Zürich, CH-Zürich


Aim: Animal protection laws will lead to stricter and more selective criteria thus resulting in a decline of available animals. Yet to train cardiac surgical skills a totally artificial training model was developed.
Description of training model: The model is based on differently hardened polyurethane. Cover is a 1:1 replica of the human thoracic wall. Disposable coronaries are integrated in the heart-model. Vessels and part of the ascending aorta can be rinsed. By means of a newly designed air-pump stroke volume, heart-rate and rhythm can be adjusted.
Experiences: Set-up of the model is easy and quick. Accustomed instruments can be used. Handling of artificial tissue is nature-like. Degree of difficulty is dependent on stroke volume, heart rate, arrhythmia, vessel-size and vessel-quality.
Conclusion: The phantom helps to achieve confidence in coronary revascularisation. It facilitates an accompanying training for the less-trained as well as the skilled surgeon. The nature-like characteristics will help to reduce animal experiments in future.

ALTEX 20(1), 17-20

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