Surgery master class offers the opportunity to receive bypass surgery technique training


Trainee surgeons from around the UK are able to receive training about different heart bypass surgery techniques at a two-day master class taking place in Oxford.

The master class is being funded by national charity, Heart Research UK. According to a press release this is the second year the master class has run and is will be led by David Taggart, professor of Cardiovascular Surgery at the University of Oxford and consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.

The charity, according to the release, is funding 30 trainee cardiothoracic surgeons from across the UK to learn about a range of lifesaving techniques through a series of lectures and video presentations of operations.

The surgeons will get the chance to practice these new techniques in a hands-on, interactive ‘wet-lab’ simulation. It is intended that the surgeons learn new ways to harvest blood vessels, explore which blood vessels are best to use in different situations and how best to graft the vessels into the heart. There will also be time, according to the release, to discuss their techniques and methods.

Guest speaker, Oxford-based professor Steve Westaby, is also expected to give a talk about the beginnings of modern cardiac surgery.

Taggart, who is also a past president of the Society of Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland, said: “The aim of the class is to encourage use of more arterial grafts in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting. Despite strong evidence of the superiority of multiple arterial grafts, this approach is used in only 10% of all patients. By teaching surgeons the techniques for using multiple arterial grafts, hopefully this will result in substantial benefits for patients.”

“There is no other similar course in the UK or indeed Europe. The enthusiastic response of delegates wishing to come to this course illustrates the need for such teaching. Heart Research UK deserves enormous credit for funding this unique course,” he added.

Barbara Harpham, national director at Heart Research UK, said: “This course, given completely free to expert young surgeons, gives them a great opportunity to gain new skills, knowledge and get hands-on experience in a safe and supportive environment.  The aim is that patients across the country will benefit as they will have better access to the most appropriate and best procedures for their conditions.  Our charity was founded to make heart surgery safer and fund medical research that would benefit patients as soon as possible. These courses are ideal to do just that.”