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Incision and reflection of dura

kevin k-mckenna at nwu.edu
Wed Jul 12 14:38:59 EST 1995

In article <3thhkh$air at mojo.eng.umd.edu>, didier at eng.umd.edu (Didier A.
Depireux) wrote:

  > During surgery on a mammal, we perform a small (5mm by 5mm) craniotomy, 
  > and we want to expose the underlying cortex for single electrode
  > For this, we have to incise and reflect the dura, but I am not satisfied
  > with our method. Basically, we take very fine forceps and iridectomy 
  > scissors, rub the forceps on the dura until, at some point, something 
  > in the dura actually gets caught by the forceps, lift the dura, cut it
  > and further resect it with the scissors. 
  > When you do that, it really feels like you are rubbing against the dura 
  > until something breaks on it, and you use the slit you just made to lift 
  > the dura, pia and arach. membrane and cut through the meninges. It seems 
  > to me that there should be a better way. 
  > What do people on this group do when they are faced with having to expose 
  > cortex? How do neurosurgeons do it with humans, without (obviously)
  > damaging the underlying cortex?
For human surgery, there are dural hooks for this purpose. It consists of
a handle and two sharp points on it which are curved like a sickle and
almost horizontal. You hold the hooks against the dura and rotate. The two
hooks grab into the dura, then you lift and cut with a scissors. Fine
Science Tools (800 521-2109, FAX 800 523-2109) sell a small version that
would be suitable (Tissue Pickk, 18067-11, about $80 US). Being something
of a cheapskate (and the fact that this sort of instument is easily
damaged) I use something simple for picking up the dura of the rat spinal
cord. Take a 30 gauge needle and bend it about 90 degrees very close to
the tip. The tip is very sharp and can be used as a combination
mini-scalpel and hook for lifting up the dura. I think many neurosurgeons
use a similar technique.

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