Aschwin de Wolf has reposted an article from 2014:
Now that I have experience with the removal of dozens of brains, I have a lot to say about this article.
Brain removal is not a good idea in traditional cryonics. It can take hours to remove a human brain. During this entire time, the tissue would be exposed to toxic cryoprotectants. This would be bad enough at very low temperature, but it would also be nearly impossible to maintain this low temperature. The brain removal process would cause significant and unacceptable warming. The craniotome (saw) would cause obvious warming with no easy way to remove the heat. A special enclosure would need to be built to maintain the working environment at -20, and insulated gloves would be needed to prevent transfer of heat from the hands. While all of these problems could theoretically be addressed by complex engineering, it would be very difficult and expensive, and would still not solve the underlying problem of hours of toxic exposure.
On the other hand, brain removal has significant benefits under a protocol that includes glutaraldehyde. During the removal process, the molecules are stable, temperature is not important, and the tissue is resistant to mechanical trauma. Every single Oregon Cryonics case starts with glutaraldehyde and we only store isolated brains.
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I've changed my position on this topic. A brain that's been fixed well is firm. This makes it very easy to damage with the craniotome. It also makes it difficult to access the cranial nerves and remove it from the irregular cranial cavity. So it's always a bad idea. The only time we do it now is when we have to, usually for logistical or financial reasons, and sometimes as part of negotiations with the family of the next of kin.