Free Flap Course Groningen - Head and Neck Reconstructive and Oncologic Surgery 2012

It was the fifth time that the Free Flap Course took place in the Dept. of Anatomy of the University Hospital Groningen, organized by the Strasbourg Osteosynthesis Research Group in cooperation with the Wenckebach Institute. The participants were limited to 20 persons - and the course was fully booked already weeks before the event.

Get-together was on Tuesday evening, Nov 13th. Maxillo-facial surgeons from all over the world (Belgium, Bahrain, Poland, Netherlands, Italy, Argentina, Japan, Russia, Germany, Austria, United Kingdom and the United States) met in the NH Hotel, opposite the university hospital, to make acquaintance.

The program officially started on the Nov 14th with an introduction of James Brown, S.O.R.G. Section Chairman Reconstruction. The first day was filled with information and explanation about the different flaps (pedicled flaps, pectoralis major, deltopectoral, radial forearm, latissimus dorsi etc.) and bones (fibula, scapula, femoral, iliac crest), used for reconstruction of the mandible and maxilla. The presentations were held by the faculty members Jürgen Hoffmann, James Brown, John Devine, Alexander Gaggl, Massimo Maranzano, Rui Fernandes and Henning Schliephake. The busy and interesting day was followed by the official course dinner for further interaction between participants and speakers.

The second day of the course took place in the Dept. of Anatomy of the University Hospital Groningen again. James Brown, Rui Fernandes, John Devine and Henning Schliephake gave a detailed theoretical overview of the day. After that, everybody had the chance to practice with a cadaver and ask questions to the faculty. The topics on the Nov 15th were pectoralis major, deltopectoral and cephalic transposition, temeroparietal, temporalis and submental island flaps, radial forearm and lateral arm flaps, anterolateral thigh, gracilis and fibula.

Friday, Nov 16th, was filled with the following topics: latissimus dorsi, TDAP flap, scapula, osteocutaneous femoral, chondrocutaneous ear, iliac crest, complications and their management and a discussion in the end. The lectures were held by Massimo Maranzano, Rui Fernandes, Jürgen Hoffman, Alexander Gaggl and James Brown.

The last day of the course, Saturday, Nov 17th was dedicated to microsurgery. The faculty trained different knot techniques, gave tips for coordination and the registrars could do an in vivo training on rats. All in all, it was a fantastic and interesting course and the feedback was very positive. Thanks to the friendly and always helpful staff in the anatomy and the great organization of Ruud Boos, it was again a highly scientific and didactic cadaver course in Groningen.