VSAC Introduction

The main goal of developing this web site was to give you the opportunity to learn basic surgical skills early in your veterinary training so that you can continue to build on these skills throughout your veterinary program.  It is hoped this will raise the skill level that you are able to achieve before graduation and subsequently throughout your career in veterinary medicine. 

Remember that YOU, throughout this course and for the rest of your career, will be the main determinant of the quality of your surgical skills.  Critically evaluate your technique and continuously work to improve your skills.  While this web site was developed for independent learning, do not hesitate to contact any of the faculty surgeons if you are having difficulties in understanding something or mastering these skills.  Sometimes, there are several acceptable ways to perform a specific task and another way may work better for you. 


On completion of this course, you should be able to:

1. Identify common surgical instruments, understand how and when they are used, and be able to hold and use these instruments correctly.

2. Identify and perform the common surgical knots and be able to choose an appropriate knot to use based on the indications for each knot. 

3. Perform the commonly used suture patterns and understand when their use is appropriate.                  

Additional Goals

  • prevent the development of some of the bad habits that quickly become automatic and difficult to break
  • provide a format with which you can learn these skills at your own pace in an environment where you are comfortable
  • provide a reference for review as many of these skills must be continually practiced over time in order to develop proficiency and efficiency