Thirty trainee heart surgeons from across the UK will be able to use new bypass surgery techniques on their patients thanks to a Masterclass funded by heart charity Heart Research UK.
Local surgeons learnt first-hand from world-renowned surgeons about a range of heart bypass techniques which could help save the lives of more people all over the UK.
The bypass surgery Masterclass was held for the second year running due to its success and popularity, and was funded by Heart Research UK, the heart charity that funds pioneering medical research in the fight against heart disease.
The course, which took place in Oxford, was paid for completely by HRUK and led by David Taggart, Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery at the University of Oxford and Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at John Radcliffe Hospital.
The thirty trainee cardiothoracic surgeons from across the UK attended the course to learn the most up to date and innovative techniques through a series of lectures and video presentations of operations. The surgeons also got the chance to practice these new techniques in a hands-on, interactive simulation.
The trainees found out about new and innovative ways to harvest blood vessels, explored which blood vessels are best to use in different situations and how best to graft the vessels into the heart - allowing them to discuss their own techniques and methods, and open up their minds to the new ideas the experts were teaching.
They heard from some of Europe’s leading surgeons and cardiologists, world renowned and well-respected in their fields, including guest speakers from Italy, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
Professor David Taggart, who is also a recent, past President of the Society of Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland, says:
“The aim of the class was to encourage use of more arterial, not vein, 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 the delegates who came to this course just shows the need for this teaching. Heart Research UK deserves enormous credit for funding this unique course.”
Barbara Harpham, National Director at Heart Research UK, said: “This course, given completely free to expert young surgeons, was a great opportunity for them to gain new skills, knowledge and get hands-on experience in a safe and supportive environment. Above all, patients across the country can benefit as they will have 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.”
Aneel Zaheer, Clinical Fellow in Cardiothoracic surgery at King’s Collage Hospital said: “The Masterclass was superb - an excellent, evidence-based, comprehensive and up to date review of different techniques for performing heart bypass surgery, providing in-depth insight into current best practice. It was great to meet and be taught by some of the world’s experts in cardiac surgery, teaching us their methods and techniques. What I have learnt at the Masterclass will help me to develop my skills and techniques. I hope in future there will be more courses like this - it has the potential to be one of the most sought after courses in the UK in the near future - absolutely vital for developing surgical skills.”