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The microsurgical training programme in Gothenburg, Sweden: early experiences

Journal article
Authors Mihai Oltean
Paolo Sassu
Mats Hellström
P. Axelsson
Lars Ewaldsson
A. G. Nilsson
Michael Axelsson
Published in Journal of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery
Volume 51
Issue 3
Pages 193-198
ISSN 2000-656X
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Surgery
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Institute of Biomedicine
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Pages 193-198
Language en
Keywords Microsurgery training, education, evaluation, training models, dissection, femoral artery, rat, 10-year experience, learning-curve, transplantation, surgery, reconstruction, university, kidney, models, skills, flap
Subject categories Surgery


Objective: Microsurgical techniques are increasingly used in routine surgical practice as well as in biomedical research. The training opportunities at standardised training courses are limited, and no microsurgical training facility or programme existed in Scandinavia before 2013. Methods: A microsurgery laboratory was set up and two different courses were started, aiming separately at biomedical researchers and surgeons. The course for biomedical researchers teaches basic microsurgical skills such as vessel isolation, cannulation, and arterial microvascular suture under magnification. The more advanced course for surgeons focuses on various techniques of microvascular and nerve anastomosis. Both courses use a combination of theory and practice, with emphasis on the practical part, the course for surgeons also includes clinically relevant information. Results: Twelve 5-day courses using both non-living models and exercises on laboratory animals have been conducted and attended by 49 researchers and 44 surgeons. The organisation and the programme of the training courses as well as 'The 4E concept' behind the course (educational curriculum, equipment, ergonomy, and evaluation) are further detailed. Conclusions: We have successfully established the first training laboratory and series of microsurgical training courses in Scandinavia at two different levels. The experience from the first 12 courses shows the need for this type of structured training, and confirms that the microsurgical education curriculums needs to be adapted to participants' prerequisites and expectations, and various difficulty levels should be considered.

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