Thursday, 30 December 2010

Get your Papers sorted for the New Year

Managing PDFs of journal articles is a tedious job. Finding the article, downloading it and sticking it in a suitable folder all takes time.

'Papers' is the answer.

It is a well established program for Mac users that automates all of this. In fact it is worth getting a Mac just for this software alone!

Apps are available for the iPhone and iPad so you can access your articles on the move. I store my 'library' in Dropbox to keep all of my PDFs synchronised across the different devices.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Electronic Table of Contents (eTOCs)

I have updated the journal eTOC section. There is a more comprehensive selection of journals and information about the OvidSP system. The OvidSP eTOC system allows management of multiple journals.  It is very easy to sign-up. You just enter your email address and select the journals you want to receive.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Davis v Gillies

I enjoyed Felix Freshwater's talk at last year's winter BAPRAS comparing John Staige Davis' Plastic Surgery its Principles and Practice with Harold Gillies' Plastic Surgery of the Face. A follow-up article has appeared in the latest edition of JPRAS which is worth reading.

Follow the links above to download free PDFs of the books (legally).

Sunday, 12 December 2010

BMA Book Awards Update

In an earlier post I said I would post the plastic surgery books short listed for the BMA Book Awards 2010. None of them won, in fact an orthopaedic book took the top prize. Please post reviews in the comments section.

Plastic Surgery: Clinical Problem Solving. Peter J. Taub and R. Michael Koch. McGraw-Hill Medical, October 2009 ISBN: 9780071481502 £55.00

Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Sherrell J. Aston, Douglas S. Steinbrech, and Jennifer Walden. Elsevier, June 2009 ISBN: 9780702031687 $299.00

Atlas of Craniomaxillofacial Osteosynthesis. Second edition. Franz Haerle, Maxime Champy and Bill Terry. Georg Thieme Verlag KG, February 2009 ISBN: 9783131164926 €149.95

Augmentation Mammaplasty. John B. Tebbetts. Elsevier, November 2009 ISBN: 9780323041126 $299.00

Flaps and Reconstructive Surgery. Fu-Chan Wei and Samir Mardini. Elsevier, August 2009 ISBN: 9780721605197 $309.00

Monday, 22 November 2010

SurgyTec 'sharing surgical know how'

I have recently come across this website. Clearly not the first as there are well over 100 UK plastic surgeons signed up.

It has a small and eclectic selection of videos and case reports related to plastic surgery.

Overall the website is well designed and fully functional but the content available for plastic surgeons is disappointing. This probably explains the invitation to submit content on the back of a recent article I published in JPRAS.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Postgraduate Diploma in Aesthetic Surgery

At the Pan Thames training day last week Simon Myers spoke about academic plastic surgery as well as the Postgraduate Diploma in Aesthetic Surgery that he organises at Barts and The London.

The course is proving very popular. More information  can be found here.

The other news was that his microsurgery simulation lab has been installed and should be up and running at the start of next year. He is interested on hearing from trainees about how they would like to use it.

Image: Barts and The London has undergone considerable redevelopment and is known for a number of avant garde architectural projects, one of which is the Centre for the Cell (above).

Surgery of the Soul: Reflections on a Curious Career

Surgery of the Soul is an inspiring read.

Joseph E. Murray had an incredible career. He performed the first human kidney transplant in 1954 and went on to pioneer the field of craniofacial surgery. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1990 for organ transplantation.

He uses clinical cases to illustrate his many contributions to transplantation and plastic surgery. At the same time he interweaves these events with his personal story and family life.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

How to get into a career in plastic surgery

There is a one day course coming up in Liverpool on how to get into plastic surgery. It is run by Prosthetic Innovations.

Plastic surgeons are generally an energetic bunch who have done a lot and been through the mill. Trainers are exacting and expect a high standard.

For what is worth my advice is to become interested early, demonstrate initiative and participate in as many plastic surgery related activities as possible.

As a medical student
- Visit local unit
- Do a special study module in plastic surgery
- Attend the UPRAS conference
- Attend the BAPRAS plastic surgery day for medical students
- Organise a plastic surgery related elective
- Read general plastic surgery related books to find out about the specialty and its illustrious history

Foundation years
As above plus . . .
- Work towards MRCS
- Get involved with local plastic surgery unit, think about small research projects and audit

Core surgical trainee
As above plus. . .
- Work hard to get ranked high enough to get the rotation with plastic surgery
- Seek advice from consultants and more senor trainees on what they are looking for in a plastic surgery trainee.
- Meticulous preparation for ST3 interviews. Tick all the boxes. It seems obvious but some trainees don't bother. . . .

Any more suggestions?

Check out: Jalali M, Davies PS, Tehrani H, Winterton RI. The UK plastic surgery trainee. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg 2011; 64:1716–1717.

Freedlander E. Careers in plastic surgery. BMJ Careers 2009. 

Davies C. 15 minutes with a plastic surgeon. BMJ Careers 2008.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Microsurgery Courses

There is an advert on the PLASTA website about a new Irish microsurgery course. It will be held at the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland in conjunction with the Christine M. Kleinert Institute between 15th and 19th November. Email enquiries to Mr. Sean Carroll (

In the UK the Northwick Park Institute for Medical Research (Imperial College London) run Micorsurgery Workshops and Advanced Microsurgery Workshops. Contact Mrs. Shirley Jenks (020 8869 3265,

There are many other courses worldwide. One with an excellent reputation is at Ganga Hospital, Coimbatore, India. It was reviewed in a BMJ careers article a few years ago.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Reconstructive Trauma Surgery Fellowships

The Severn Deanery is managing the recruitment for four interface fellowships in reconstructive trauma surgery. Closing date: 22nd October 2010

The posts are based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for 3 months in duration from March 1st 2011.

Further information available here. The candidate support line is 01454 252610.

Three cleft interface fellowships have been advertised. Administered by Severn Deanery. Closing date: Friday 12th November 2010. Further information as above.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Life as a military plastic surgeon

There is an interview with Wing Commander Demetrius Evriviades in this months RCS Bulletin. He is one of three military plastic surgeons at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. He describes his clinical practice managing casualties from Afghanistan.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Blogging Burd

Andrew Burd is professor of plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has been blogging for the BMJ for a while. His major interests are paediatric burns and palliation of advanced malignancy.

He writes about his clinical work and related issues. Using his wealth of experience to illustrate his views on many topics. Check out the blog here.

Friday, 24 September 2010

UK plastic surgery in the interwar years

I enjoyed reading the article by Sykes and Bamji in this months Annals of Plastic Surgery. Their article complements the one by Fraser and Hultman (1) in the previous issue.

They explore the reasons why British plastic surgery was overtaken by the Americans during the interwar period. During this period the 'big four' plastic surgeons (Gillies, Kilner, McIndoe and Mowlem) dominated the specialty. It is thought that this dominance may have led to a stifling of competition. Also, whereas as Americans embraced the nascent art of cosmetic surgery, the British did not.

The advent of the Second World War gave impetus for expansion of the specialty and reinforced its position as a worthwhile surgical specialty that deserved individual units around the country.

1. Fraser JF, Hultman CS. America’s fertile frontier: how America surpassed Britain in the development and growth of plastic surgery during the interwar years 1920–1940. Ann Plast Surg. 2010;64:610.

Image: From left to right: Mowlem, Kilner, Gilies, McIndoe (Copyright - Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust)

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Plastic surgery news

Medscape from WebMD provides a free news service for plastic and aesthetic surgery. The main focus is on US based stories. There are also links through to the relevant eMedicine articles.

Recent articles include: "FDA Clears Cryosurgical Device for Spot Reduction of Love Handles". It didn't comment on whether it was effective for 'muffin tops' as well.

Sign up for the service here.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Emergency Management of Severe Burns

The next course with places available is in Newcastle on 9th December 2010. Contact Donna Kelly (

British Burn Association

Cosmetic Surgery: On the face of it

The National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death has just released their report into cosmetic surgery. It is available to download here.

It highlights areas that require improvement, such as the need for units to have sufficient expertise and case load for the procedures they provide. The BBC report can be found here.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

National Training Number update

The NTN interviews are approaching. According to the London Deanery there will be 9 ST3 posts available. The interviews for the three Academic Clinical Lectureships in London are now going to follow the NTN interviews.

BMA Books Awards 2010

I had a very enjoyable evening last night at the BMA Book Awards 2010. It was good to see three plastic surgery books in the Surgery (sub-specialty) category. They were all ~ $300 - ouch! More details to follow.

Warning: plug coming up. The series I edited did well with a win for Training in Obsterics and Gynaecology and highly commended for Training in Paediatrics.

Check out the series here (especially Training in Surgery!).

Friday, 10 September 2010

Surgery School

New three part documentary on ITV. It follows a bunch of junior surgical trainees in the London Deanery as they embark on their surgical career.

Watch it on ITVPlayer.


I jumped on a 'Boris bike' this evening down to the Wellcome Collection and finally had a look around 'Skin'. It is certainly worth a visit.

There is a mixture of material from the archives as well as art and sculpture commissioned for the exhibition. It explores skin both medically and its place in human culture.

Late night opening on Thursdays until 10 pm.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Plastic Surgeons Academy

Just noticed another spin off from the 'Doctors Academy' stable. The Plastic Surgeons Academy doesn't look like it has been updated for a while.

There are listings for worldwide courses and meetings related to plastic surgery. This is a good idea but unfortunately the courses are accessed via a rather convoluted method.

Friday, 3 September 2010

UK cutaneous melanoma guidelines

Revised UK guidelines for the management of cutaneous melanoma have been published in this months JPRAS. Check them out here: Marsden et al. JPRAS; 63(9):1401-1419.

Friday, 27 August 2010

FRCS(Plast) questions online

The 'Doctors Academy' are now selling single best answer and extended matching questions online at for FRCS(Plast). I tried a practice SBA and the software didn't seem to work. The EMQ did though and it seemed OK.

There are options to select other plastic surgery exams (e.g. American Board) but it is unclear whether this gives access to other questions.

Plastic surgery videos are available as well at around a pound a pop. No videos to preview though. Online subscription fees range from £10.99 for 15 days up to £25.99 for 6 months. A hardback book is also available.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Inhibition of mutated, activated BRAF in metastatic melanoma

This article is getting a lot of press attention. It appears that mutations in the gene encoding the serine-threonine protein kinase B-RAF are a good target for treating melanoma skin cancer.

Flaherty et al. report a multi-centre, phase 1 trial of the inhibitor PLX4032. Eighty percent of patients with the BRAF mutations responded to treatment where as those without didn't.

This has great potential for targeted individual treatment for melanoma patients with the mutated gene. Further laboratory and clinical trials are planned.

Keith T. Flaherty et al. Inhibition of Mutated, Activated BRAF in Metastatic Melanoma. N Engl J Med 2010; 363:809-819 (August 26, 2010). Find the article here.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Back to school

The new academic year is almost here. The RSM kicks off on Tuesday 12th October with an evening focusing on plastic surgery charities.

The new Section President, Simon Eccles, will be in the chair. The programme is below. The speakers have all recently made appearances in TV programmes related to their charity work abroad - see earlier posts under 'media'. Register here.

7.00 pm Introduction - Charities form the perspective of four different commissions
7.05 pm  Mr David Dunaway, Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, GOS
7.20 pm  Mr Niall Kirkpatrick, Consultant Plastic surgeon, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
7.40 pm Ms Sarah Driver-Jowitt, Chief Executive, Facing the World
8.00 pm Mr Juling Ong, Craniofacial Fellow, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital


The funding for eLPRAS has been cut by the ConDem government. It is now on hold indefinitely. Options are being explored and there may be an alternative project. Watch this space.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Academic Clinical Lectureships in Plastic Surgery

In addition to the post below, the London Deanery have now advertised three ACLs. One with Simon Myers at Barts and the London and the other two with Jagdeep Nanchahal at Imperial College London. Check out the advert here.

Deadline for applications is Monday 23rd August 2010 at 1700 BST

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

National recruitment to ST3 in plastic surgery

The London Deanery has opened the national recruitment to ST3 in plastic surgery. Application details available here.  No details on where or how many numbers there are  . . . .

Deadline for applications is Friday 13th August at 1400 BST.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Interface Fellowships in Reconstructive Cosmetic Surgery

Applications are now being accepted for the Interface Fellowships. See the JCST website for more details. The Severn Deanery is managing the appointment process.

Deadline for applications is Tuesday 31st August 2010.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

7 New Faces in 7 Days

In the third series of Channel Five's 'Extraordinary People' one episode follows the work of Facing the World in Vietnam.

Craniofacial surgeons, Niall Kirkpatrick and Simon Eccles, travel to Danang General Hospital to assess and treat patients with a variety of craniofacial conditions. The film is still available on Demand Five.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010


The Wellcome Collection has a new exhibition called Skin. Haven't managed to get there yet but it looks worth a visit.

Thursday, 17 June 2010


There is never enough time! Keeping up with the lastest plastic surgery publications is challenging. To make it easier a number of plastics journals will deliver their electronic table of contents (eTOC) to your inbox.

Fortunately, they are staggered through the month so you won't be overloaded. I currently receive eTOCs for the following:

European Journal of Plastic Surgery
Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (JPRAS)
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (PRS)
The Canadian Journal of Plastic Surgery
The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery

Talking of 'time', the new Corpus Clock in Cambridge is worth a visit. . . . .

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Facing Africa - Noma

Ben Fogle has been off on another adventure. This time to follow reconstructive surgeons in Africa treating the facial deformities caused by Noma (cancrum oris).

The documentary is on iPlayer (BBC2). More info about the condition can be found on the Facing Africa website.

Image: Facing Africa - Noma

Saturday, 12 June 2010

History of Plastic Surgery

Just came across this website on the history of plastic surgery from the 'Carl Ferdinand Von Graefe Institute'. It has collections of references related to the history of particular conditions, techniques and famous plastic surgeons. I get the feeling it is still very much a work in progress . . . .

 Image: Wax work by Eleanor Crook featured on the website


The e-learning project being developed by BAPRAS is now recruiting content authors. Email to volunteer.

The first modules to be produced are : upper limb, lower limb, breast and chest wall.

There is more info on the BAPRAS website.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Tourniquets Take 2

A quick follow-up. The recent edition of the Annals of the RCSEng has an article outlining the results of a questionnaire on tourniquet use. The long and short of it is: trainee orthopaedic surgeons and ODAs use them but don't know much about them.

Check out:  "Understanding of intra-operative tourniquets amongst orthopaedic surgeons and theatre staff - a questionnaire study"

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Tight squeeze

Tourniquets. A dull topic but one that often causes confusion. Unsurprisingly there is someone who has made them their life work. Check out for a lot of information about tourniquets and their use in clinical practice.

Thursday, 25 February 2010


ePlasty is a open access journal of plastic surgery. It has been going a few years and has started to attract more articles. Check it out here.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Guinea Pig Books

There have been many books written about the Guinea Pig Club and Sir Archibald McIndoe. Below is a selection. I am currently working my way through The Last Enemy. An Oxford GP at the Osler Club recommended 'I burned my fingers'. Just ordered it - £1.50 on Amazon. Bargin.

Best Foot Forward, Colin Hodgkinson Corgi Books, 1978 + Odhams 1957
Faces from the fire, L Mosley Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1962
I burned my fingers, William Simpson Putnam Books, 1955
I had a row with a German, RAF Casualty MacMillan & Co Ltd, 1941
McIndoe's Army, Peter Williams + Ted Harrison Pelham Books Ltd, 1979
McIndoe Plastic Surgeon, H McLeave Frederick Muller Ltd, 1961
One of our pilots is safe, William Simpson Hamish Hamilton, 1942
Tale of a Guinea Pig, Geoffrey Page Pelham Books Ltd, 1981 + Corgi Books, 1983
The Guinea Pig Club, Edward Bishop MacMillan & Co Ltd, 1963
The Last Enemy, Richard Hillary MacMillan & Co Ltd, 1942
The way to recovery, William Simpson Hamish Hamilton, 1944

Can deceiving patients be morally acceptable?

I went to the Osler Club at the RCP last week expecting to hear Iain Hutchison speak on 'What is a surgeon in the 21st century?'. He didn't turn up and so Dr. Daniel Sokol stepped in. He gave an excellent talk on truth telling in medicine. Is it acceptable to lie to or deceive patients? The answer is: sometimes. For those of you unsure of when to deceive your patients he has published a very helpful flow chart in the BMJ! Check it out here.

He presented some cases, one of which was surgical. I was the only surgeon in the room and seemed to take an opposing view everyone else. The average age of the audience was somewhere over 60 years which probably explained the paternalistic views of those present.

Danial Sokol writes as 'Ethics Man' in the BMJ. A collection of his musings are available on his website.

For those of you interested in the history of medicine the Osler Club is worth exploring. The website is terrible but the dinners are good.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Emergency Management of Burns Surgery (EMSB)

The Emergency Management of Severe Burns (EMSB) is an excellent and essential course for all plastic surgery trainees. More information about it can be found on the British Burn Association website.

At the weekend I'm going to be going through the basics of burns surgery at the Undergraduate Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery Conference at Imperial College. I think it is sold out but check the website.

Other burns resources include

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Cleft lip and palate surgery DVD

Brian Sommerlad is the leading cleft surgeon in the UK. He presented an update on current cleft management at the November meeting of the plastic surgery section at the RSM.

He has a personal website with information about his practice and work he does for various cleft charities. Amongst them are The Smile Train and a new charity called CLEFT.

He has produced a number of DVDs demonstrating the operative techniques he uses in his practice. Register for them on his website and he will send them to you for free.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Plastic Surgery e-Learning

BAPRAS has won funding from the Department of Health to create a web based learning resource for UK Plastic Surgery (e-LPRAS project). It will be produced in conjunction with e-Learning for Healthcare.

Mrs. Sarah Pape (Newcastle) is leading the project and has started to put together a curriculum based on the ISCP. She is looking for trainees and consultants to contribute to the project. If you are interested email her at this address: elpras.project[at]

US near-total human face transplant

The TOC for PRS arrived in my inbox a few days ago. In this months issue the team that performed the first US near-total human face transplant give an account of the procedure. Apparently the patient is doing well after 8 months follow-up.

The UK the team, led by Peter Butler, has the go ahead but are yet to perform the procedure. I'm sure it is only a matter of time. Their work is supported by The Face TrustImage copyright PRS 2010

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

What is a surgeon in the 21st century?

I'm looking forward to going along to this talk by Ian Hutchinson at the Osler Club of London in February. Iain Hutchison is a well known oral and maxillofacial surgeon at Barts, London. He set up the Facial Surgery Research Foundation ten years ago.

I became interested in facial surgery as medical student and remember visiting the 'Saving Faces' exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. The collection of portraits of patients at various stages of facial reconstruction can be viewed on the charity's website.

By the way The Osler Club of London was founded in 1928 to encourage the study of the History of Medicine and remember Sir William Osler. It's based at the Royal College of Physicians.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

War, art and plastic surgery

I went to this excellent exhibition when it was on a couple of years ago at the National Army Museum. The Project Facade website is definitely worth exploring.

Plastic Surgery Trainees Association (PLASTA)

The PLASTA website has undergone a revamp. It now has news, courses, conferences, fellowships all listed on the site. Not much in the way of educational content at the moment but more is promised.

Chirurgi Plastici Fenniae

Chirurgi Plastici Fenniae is the Finnish Association of PRAS. As mentioned they are organising the WSRM conference in 2011. Unsurprisingly the website is in Finnish but you can use Google to translate it. For the historians amongst you there is an extensive history of plastic surgery in Finland . . .

World Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery

I hope to build up a comprehensive list of worldwide plastic surgery associations and societies.
The World Society of Reconstructive Microsurgeons came into existence following a merger between the International Microsurgical Society and the International Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery.
The 6th Congress of the WSRM will be held in Helsinki next year (29th June - 2nd July 2011). It is being organised by the Finnish Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons.

Plastic Surgery 101

During my search for general interest plastic surgery blogs, I found 'Plastic Surgery 101'. It's not as deviant as the name suggests.

Monday, 18 January 2010

American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery

I'm in the process of researching a paper on microsurgery. Check out the website of the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery to find out what they are up to across the pond.

Combined Management of Open Tibial Fractures 10 - 12th Feb 2010

Excellent 3-day course at Charing Cross Hospital, Imperial College London, UK. It is supported by BAPRAS. Register here.

UPRAS 2010

Now in its third year, the Undergraduate Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery Conference is a very worthwhile conference to attend if you are a medical student or junior doctor interested in plastic surgery. It will be held at Charing Cross Hospital on Sat 6th and Sun 7th February 2010. Tickets available here. I am going to be running the burns tutorials. . .

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Ruthless and Brilliant

No, not the blog but a programme on Radio 4 this lunchtime presented by Jenni Murray. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 and subsequently underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy. In the programme she returns to an operating theatre to speak to her surgeon and watch him perform a similar procedure. What qualities does a surgeon need to undertake this kind of surgery?

Listen to it here for the next 7 days.

Plastic surgery, its principles and practice

John Davies' book is available here.

Plastic surgery chapter in 'Training in surgery'

During my basic surgical training I co-edited a surgical textbook called 'Training in Surgery'. As no one is reading this blog yet a bit of shameless self publicity is allowed . . .

It was published in 2009 by Oxford University Press and is available from all good bookstores including Amazon. Essential reading for basic surgical trainees. There is a excellent chapter on plastic surgery for beginners.

I am also the editor of the 'Oxford Specialty Training' series of which the book above is part of. Check out the series here.

Harold Gillies 'Plastic surgery of the face'

Modern day plastic Surgery has a relatively short but distinguished history. Sir Harold Delf Gillies, a New Zealander, is widely regarded as the father of plastic surgery. In 1920 he published Plastic Surgery of the Face a year after the publication of John Staige Davis’ Plastic Surgery its Principles and Practice.

Prof. M F Freshwater gave an insightful talk on the two books at the winter BAPRAS conference 2009. The Gillies book is available here and I'm still trying to find Davis' book. . .

Saturday, 16 January 2010

The Plastic Surgery Project

Here we go. This my first post on the 'plasticsurgeryproject' blog. Plastic surgery is a fantastic surgical specialty with lots to talk about. The aim is to share views on innovations, great plastic surgery resources, training, fellowships and much more!