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Diving in the Sylvian fissure

Tips and tricks for a successful first time by Prof. Raabe

Published onNov 14, 2023
Diving in the Sylvian fissure


After a quick lunch in the library, surrounded by anatomical curiosities, we return to the lecture theatre for the conference of Andreas Raabe, a master surgeon from the University Hospital of Bern. Today, the students will learn about one of the most important approaches, yet one of the most demanding anatomical knowledge: navigation through the Sylvian fissure to access the brain stem and other central parts of the brain. Entering this rift of the brain is nothing trivial. Andreas guides us through the key landmarks and gestures, in which we are introduced to the topology of the basals (basals are the arteries and veins irrigating the brain). At the end of the session, before turning to practice, he shares with us a list of “tips and tricks” for a successful “splitting” of that fissure, including the type of scissors which is best suited for this task —“go for the short ones!” he insists—, tactics to create space—“do inject water”—and a quick rant on how using retractors can be a good strategy, despite the seemingly bad reputation of this instrument in the profession—“Better use retractor than strain the nerves repeatedly!”

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