Advantages to traditional wet specimen dissection
Traditionally medical students familiarize themselves with the human body through a process of removal. First they remove the skin from the cadaver, then they detach muscles from the limbs, and finally conclude by removing the chest and abdominal walls. After removing the organs, the remainder of the body is – to use their own rather telling term- “dissected down” to the bones and ligaments.
In Plastination, the body is also first dissected. However, the method makes it possible to create new types of specimens. When the polymers harden, muscles that would ordinarily be slack are firm, allowing the body to be displayed in a variety of unusual poses, either in its entirety or in various stages of anatomical dissection. It is even possible to take a body that has been dissected and render it into components of interest from all angles, thereby creating gaps that allow for informative glimpses into the body and reveal structural relationships that would otherwise remain hidden.
Since specimens rendered through plastination are durable and permanent, more complex and detailed dissection is worthwhile compared to traditional wet preparation.