Thursday, June 5, 2008

This made me snicker

Male Reproductive Medicine, where I work, is a pioneering facility where we're constantly developing new ways to treat male infertility. One of the main causes of male infertility is what's known as a varicocele. Those varicose vein women get the the backs of their legs? Men get those in their scrotums. The increased blood flow to the testicles raises testicular temperature. The whole point of keeping the testes in the scrotum is to keep them lower than body temperature. Having varicoceles defeats that purpose. My boss developed what's known as microsurgical varicocelectomy. It's the best way to get rid of varicoceles; it has the least complication rate and the least chance of recurrance

Of course training to perform microsurgical varicocelectomy isn't done directly on humans; you can only operate on humans once you've mastered the technique. For the past twenty five years or so, training has been done on rats. However, our office has recently developed a varicocele model in mice. Mice are better than rats. They just are.

So today they are operating on mice. I was emailed the itinerary for the operation. It amused me, so I thought I'd share it.

1. Anesthetize mouse.
2. Weigh mouse.
3. Measure ambient temperature.
4. Measure mouse rectal temperature.
5. Measure mouse intratesticular temperature with needle probe for both testes.
6. Shave mouse.
7. Laparotomy, expose previous surgery site.
8. Inspect for varicocele induction.
9. Measure testicular vein diameter.
10. Deliver testes.
11. Measure testicular dimensions.
12. Photograph and videotape representative mouse.
13. Cardiac puncture to collect blood sample.
14. Harvest testes.
15. Freeze blood and testes specimen.

My favorite: "Shave Mouse".

It made me snicker.