Effect of Microvascular Anastomosis Technique on End Product Outcome in Simulated Training: A Prospective Blinded Randomized Controlled Trial

J Reconstr Microsurg. 2016 Sep;32(7):556-61. doi: 10.1055/s-0036-1584218. Epub 2016 Jun 15.


Background The aim of this article is to evaluate the difference in skills acquisition of two end-to-end microvascular anastomosis techniques-the triangulation and biangulation-in early microsurgery training. Method In this study, 32 candidates ranging from medical students to higher surgical trainees underwent a 5-day basic microsurgery course. On days 3 and 5 of the course, candidates performed two end-to-end anastomoses on cryopreserved rat aortas. One anastomosis was performed using the biangulation technique and the other using the triangulation technique. Candidates were randomized to the order of technique performed. Structural patency, errors performed, and suture distribution were evaluated randomly by a blinded reviewer using the anastomosis lapse index score and ImageJ (U.S. National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD) Software. Results A total of 128 anastomoses were evaluated during the study period. A total of six anastomoses performed with the biangulation technique, and four anastomoses with the triangulation technique, were physically occluded on day 3 of the course. On day 5, two biangulation technique anastomoses and one triangulation technique produced a nonpatent outcome. There was a statistically significant difference of patency rate between the 2 days of evaluation confirming evidence of skill acquisition but no statistically significant difference between the two techniques in relation to anastomotic patency, errors performed, or suture placement quality. Conclusion The biangulation and triangulation techniques of microvascular anastomosis produce similar outcomes in relation to vessel structural patency and quality of anastomosis when taught in early stages of microsurgery training. Our results suggest that both techniques are equally suitable in training novices, basic microsurgical skills.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anastomosis, Surgical / methods*
  • Animals
  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Microsurgery* / education
  • Microsurgery* / standards
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rats
  • Simulation Training*
  • Suture Techniques / standards*
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Vascular Patency / physiology*
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures* / education
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures* / standards