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Human Fresh Tissue Lab

Human Fresh Tissue Laboratory Schedule

Two full days spent in the Duke Human Fresh Tissue Laboratory (HFTL) represent a highlight of the course. Students assume the role of surgeons, taking turns leading each other through core surgical operations ranging from hernia repair to thoracotomy. Unlike the chemically preserved tissue utilized in anatomy classes, these tissues are fresh-frozen, preserving the surgical planes and three-dimensional architecture important for preparing for the operating room.

A mastery of the relevant surgical anatomy and knowledge of the steps of each operation is mandatory. As the capstone of the course, it requires students to marshal lessons learned in prior sessions by calling for the correct instruments, the relevant staple loads, and the appropriate suture for each stage of the case. The skills gained during the bowel and vascular anastomosis sessions are also utilized. These days are routinely remembered as the best part of the course; performing these operations symbolizes the transition from student to resident.

STAR 2017 in the cadaver lab
2017 STAR course participants in the cadaver lab

Common Operations

  • 4-compartment fasciotomies
  • BKA
  • AKA
  • Femoral artery cut-downs and anastomoses
  • Inguinal hernia repair
  • Thyroidectomy
  • Mastectomy
  • Chest tube placement (thoracostomy)
  • Resuscitative thoracotomy
  • Tracheostomy and/or cricothyroidotomy
  • Cholecystectomy (open or lap)
  • Appendectomy (open or lap)
  • Small bowel resection
  • Right and left hemi-colectomy
  • Splenectomy
  • Ventral hernia repair
  • Lung lobectomy
  • Specialty-specific cases
    • Hand surgery
    • DIEP flaps
    • Orchiectomy
    • Neck dissections

STAR course cadaver lab 2018