Research Group

Neurosurgical Operative Skills Laboratory

The UTMB Neurosurgical Operative Laboratory provides neurosurgery residents with an opportunity to explore neuroanatomy using human cadavers as well as allows them to hone their surgical skills before applying them in the operating room.  There are two components of this laboratory: Skull Base Laboratory and Research-dedicated Fluoroscopy Suite.  This laboratory is approved and certified by the Texas State Anatomical Board and the UTMB Willed Body Program.

Skull Base Laboratory.  This laboratory is fully equipped with a Zeiss surgical microscope with video capabilities, multiple Mayfield skull clamps, Bovie MI-1000 LED surgical light, Stryker CORE console with various attachments, and various surgical instruments for dissection. The area is open to all neurosurgery residents and faculty mentors for practicing various surgical techniques, microdissections, and exploration of the neuroanatomy. Residents and faculty mentors will have open access to this area, based on their clinical schedules. 

Figure 1. Skull Base Laboratory Overview.

Figure 2. Research-dedicated Fluoroscopy Suite Overview.

Fluoroscopy Suite.  This surgical suite is fully equipped with all standard operating room equipment, instruments and supplies. In addition, it is equipped with a Siemens CIOS Spin 3D fluoroscopy system, Arterion Mark 7 injector system, Zeiss surgical microscope, Stryker Core console with attachments, and an United Biologics Neuro System Trainer silicone flow model.  Departmental and industry-sponsored educational sessions are typically held in this area.

Example of an exercise performed in our skull base laboratory by our residents and medical students. Right frontotemporal flap with interfascial dissection technique for facial nerve preservation as described by Yasargil and superficial temporal artery isolation for future bypass exercise (Top Right).


Performing the frontotemporal craniotomy orbitozygomatic extension (Bottom Right).



Identification of structures following apperture of the sylvian fissure both from medial to lateral and lateral to medial and anterior intradural clinoidectomy. OC: Optic chiasm; A1: Anterior cerebral artery, A1 segment - note the superior variation of the recurrent artery of Heubner (Heu) arising from A2; ICA: Internal carotid artery apex; CN III: Oculomotor nerve; SCA:Superior cerebellar artery; PCA: Posterior cerebral artery; BA: Basilar artery.