Working with the Microscope

This chapter will combine the training of two skills: mastering the microscope and training your bimanual hand coordination. Again, this is a practical, simple, and very effective exercise.

Relevance for your daily practice

This exercise is essential if you work with the microscope. Especially, if you work on deep-seated lesions, this exercise will be very important.


The objective of this chapter is to improve your practical skills in using the microscope and coordinating your fine finger and hands movements while using a microscope. There will come a time when you will be asked to take over the microscope and start on your first intracerebral procedure. It would be pretty embarrassing if immediately after taking over the first thing you do is to knock out your assistant with the microscope, get confused with focus and zoom, and show discoordination using suction and bipolar.

Hence, one should:

  • Get very familiar with the microscope. A microscope is in principle a very simple instrument. It has less buttons than your remote control at home.

  • Get as familiar with the coordination between left hand (i.e., suction) and right hand (i.e., bipolar, forceps) as you are familiar with fork and knife.

You Need

You need a bell pepper, a plaster, a scalpel, bipolar forceps, biopsy forceps, and a microscope.

As discussed in Chapter 2, ask the relevant persons in your hospital to allow you to work with the microscope. Usually, you will be allowed to move the microscope to an office space near to the OR. If this is not possible, this exercise is entirely feasible in the OR.

The Exercise

Built a stable stand for the bell pepper by using the plaster stripes (in our case, kindly provided by the Department of Trauma Surgery; Video 3, Fig. 3.1).

Make a small incision (maximum 2.5 cm) on the top of the bell pepper and remove the top. Look into the hole: will you be able to take one of the seeds on the bottom without stretching the border of the hole and without damaging the seeds above your target? Is there enough illumination? Your answer should lead you to the need for a microscope.

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Jun 12, 2018 | Posted by in NEUROSURGERY | Comments Off on Working with the Microscope
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