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Idea and concept

The idea for this online surgical atlas came during my own basic surgical training, where I found it overwhelming to enter the operating room with all the surgical techniques and unspoken rules only barely described in the textbooks from medical school. The aim of this video-based atlas is, therefore, to provide an overview of the elementary principles of open surgery skills generalizable for the different surgical disciplines. The educational content is presented in a mobile-friendly version combining short text, illustrations, and videos optimized for self-directed training on bench models or as on-demand teaching in a busy clinical environment. The target audience is medical and veterinary students, surgical trainees, and surgical nurses. Further, most of the surgical videos were recorded with stereoscopic cameras which also allow the videos to be presented in a 3D version to provide an additional depth perception of the surgical techniques demonstrated. The 3D videos can easily be watched on a standard smartphone with some simple VR glasses attached (see images below). The atlas is still in evolution as more chapters will be added and updated with time. Please fill free to comment on the content with additional knowledge and recommendations.














The development of this website was supported by a financial grant from "Undervisningkvalitetspuljen" by the University of Copenhagen, Capital Region of Denmark and Region Zealand. Further, the Danish Cancer Society additionally supported the production of the safe surgical checklist video as an immersive 360-degree Virtual Reality Video. Carl Zeiss and Karl Storz provided the surgical microscopes for the 3D video recordings of the surgical procedures, but without any opportunity to affect the educational content. No pharmaceutical and medical device companies have provided financial support for the material developed.



Surgical procedures should only be performed by competent professionals, and this website is intended to supplement, not replace proper surgical training, and supervision. The authors and editors of this website do not take responsibility for any potential injury to any person or animal arising from the use of the information provided. 


License conditions

The videos, figures, and texts at this website are developed for medical education and may only be used for private non-commercial purposes. Fell free to share the content with others as long as you credit this website and not edit the original content in any way without permission by the editor. 



I want to thank all the patients who volunteered to have their surgical procedures video recorded and all the surgical nurses at the Dep. of ORL–Head & Neck Surgery helping. Thanks also go to the surgical faculty board and all the authors who have contributed with writing chapters or demonstrating the surgical techniques being video recorded. A special thanks go to Mathias Mejdahl and Nikolaj Nerup helping with writing several chapters as well as assisting during surgery and video recordings. Further thanks go to Kasper Møller who edited the video for aseptic technique and helped with several of the recordings, as well as Therese Møller-Andersen and the rest of the employees at CAMES for the big support. Especially John Brochorst Christensen deserves a special thanks for his patient and persistent teaching and big effort to improve surgical education. I would also like to mention Kasper Wennervaldt and Niclas Rubek, who have supported me in the development of 360VR video and 3D surgical content. Last, I will thanks Professor Christian von Buchwald, who has been a great support during the entire project.


I hope you will enjoy the virtual surgical atlas and it can be a useful element in surgical training.   



Tobias Todsen, MD, Ph.D., Asst. Prof.


Department of Clinical Medicine – University of Copenhagen 

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery & Audiology

Copenhagen Academy for Medical Education and Simulation – Rigshospitalet











Multidisciplinary validation process 

The different chapters are written by surgical registrars and consultants from many different specialties (General Surgery, Plastic surgery, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Thoracic Surgery and Vascular Surgery) and hospitals affiliated to Copenhagen University, Denmark. I have been working closely together with these authors to ensure the text also could be used as a manuscript for the surgical videos afterward produced. The videos have afterward been reviewed and discussed in multidisciplinary meetings with the authors and a surgical faculty of Senior Consultants and Professors to ensure the surgical techniques demonstrated could be accepted by the different specialties evolved in this atlas.

Financially supported by


Photo by Carsten Snejbjerg

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