Femoral Artery Catheter (FAC)

Available in: Rats Anesthetics Analgesic
Pre-Operative Procedures Intra-Operative Care Post-Operative Care

Surgical Preparation

The animal is anesthetized and clipped over the right (or left) femoral artery and at the nape. Sterile eye lubricant is placed in both eyes, and the clipped skin area over the femoral vein is surgically prepared. The animal is placed in dorsal recumbency on a surgery board fitted with a sterile board drape. Analgesic is administered.

Surgical Description

To expose the femoral artery, a 1-3 cm skin incision is made over the right (or left) femoral artery. A dissecting scope may be required for the remainder of this procedure. Retractors are used to hold back the muscle over the femoral artery, and the tissue around the artery is gently cleared using blunt dissection. Two pieces of suture are tied around the femoral artery (approximately 2-7 mm apart); the cranial piece is tightly tied while the caudal piece is loosely tied. The cranial suture is weighted with a small hemostat or needle holder to control bleeding. An incision is made to the vessel, and a sterile catheter is inserted approximately 2-5 cm cranially, toward the heart. Once in place, the suture is used to anchor the catheter securely to the artery. The catheter is tested for patency.

Surgical Closing

The animal is turned to permit access to the dorsal area where the catheter will be tunneled through to an exit site on the nape. The clipped area of the nape is surgically prepared, and a small (approximately 2-7 mm), midline incision is made to the skin between the shoulder blades. The catheter is tunneled under the skin and accessed through the incision at the nape. The catheter is checked for patency and is filled with a locking solution and plugged. The ventral and dorsal incisions are closed with approved closing materials (suture or stainless steel clips), and the catheter plug is anchored to the closing material. Excess catheter is tucked under the skin, and the surgery sites are treated with an approved disinfectant followed by an alcohol swabbing.


A standard sham FAC model is prepared as described above with regards to surgical site preparation, dissection of the femoral, tunneling, wound closing, and surgical site disinfection; however, no catheters are inserted.