J reconstr Microsurg 2020; 36(02): 142-150
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1700523
Original Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Multispecialty Microsurgical Course Utilizing the Blue-Blood Chicken Thigh Model Significantly Improves Resident Comfort, Confidence, and Attitudes in Multiple Domains

Nikita O. Shulzhenko*
1  Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin
,
Weifeng Zeng*
1  Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin
,
Nicholas J. Albano
1  Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin
,
Sarah M. Lyon
1  Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin
,
Aaron M. Wieland
2  Division of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin
,
Ashish Y. Mahajan
3  Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota
4  Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery, Health Partners/Regions Hospital, Saint Paul, Minnesota
,
Daniel Williams
5  Department of Urology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin
,
Michael L. Bentz
1  Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin
,
Samuel O. Poore
1  Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.
Further Information

Publication History

19 March 2019

27 August 2019

Publication Date:
05 November 2019 (online)

Abstract

Background The high level of technical skill required by microsurgical procedures has prompted the development of in vitro educational models. Current models are cost-ineffective, unrealistic, or carry ethical implications and are utilized as isolated experiences within single surgical specialties. The purpose of this study was to assess the educational and interprofessional effect of a microsurgical training course utilizing the nonliving “Blue-Blood” chicken thigh model (BBCTM) in a multidisciplinary environment.

Methods A 10-hour course was developed integrating didactic lectures, case presentations, and one-on-one practical sessions utilizing hydrogel microvessels and the BBCTM. Pre- and postcourse surveys were administered assessing participants' self-reported comfort and confidence within fundamental microsurgical domains, assessments of the models utilized, and the effects of a multidisciplinary environment on the experience.

Results A total of 19 residents attended the course on two separate occasions (n = 10 and n = 9, respectively). Respondents varied from postgraduate year-2 (PGY-2) to PGY-6+ and represented plastic and reconstructive surgery (n = 10), urology (n = 6), and otolaryngology (n = 3). On average, each participant performed 4.3 end-to-end, 1.3 end-to-side, and 0.4 coupler-assisted anastomoses. Following the course, participants felt significantly more comfortable operating a microscope and handling microsurgical instruments. They felt significantly more confident handling tissues, manipulating needles, microdissecting, performing end-to-end anastomoses, performing end-to-side anastomoses, using an anastomotic coupler, and declaring anastomoses suitable (all p < 0.05). The majority of participants believed that the use of live animals in the course would have minimally improved their learning. All but two respondents believed the course improved their awareness of the value of microsurgery in other specialties “very much” or “incredibly.”

Conclusion A microsurgical training course utilizing nonliving models such as the “BBCTM significantly improves resident comfort and confidence in core operative domains and offers an in vivo experience without the use of live animals. Multispecialty training experiences in microsurgery are beneficial, desired, and likely underutilized.

* These authors contributed equally to this paper.


Supplementary Material