Exchange of surgical experience through international collaboration of experts
The SCaLPEL project, which is coordinated by the Department of Anatomy of the Faculty of Medicine of the Medical University of Ljubljana and brings together the Croatian University Sveuciliste U Zagrebu, the Polish Karol Marcinkowski University in Poznan and the Italian Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, is already in its second year. It aims to foster collaboration for the exchange of students and academics between the partners and to provide them with opportunities to practice specialized surgical procedures, exchange experiences and discuss advanced surgical techniques. And it is during this week at the dissection rooms of the Anatomical Institute that the individual courses are being held as part of the Department of Anatomy summer school.
These days, the SCaLPEL project's Summer School of Surgery, focused on plastic surgery and neurosurgery, is taking place at the Department of Anatomy of the Faculty of Medicine, where students and academics have the opportunity to practice modern procedures and interventions in a hands-on course using donor bodies. Participants gain practical experience on preparations and use this experience in their own practice. The plastic surgery section includes flap plastics of virtually the entire body. Course participants learn where to properly harvest flaps within the upper or lower extremity to be able to use the tissue to cover defects from tumors or trauma. In neurosurgery, doctors then gain experience in skull fossa approaches, and spinal surgery is also on the agenda. They can't get that experience on a live patient.
"The project as such is unique, but there are around 20 courses a year at our DoA, which focus on various specialisations from traumatology to plastic surgery. The courses are one-day courses and cannot compete with the SCaLPEL project on such a scale. Each year there is a different theme. Last year, plastic surgeons focused on vascular reconstruction, while non-surgeons focused on the peripheral nervous system," says Marek Joukal, Head of the Department of Anatomy at the MU Faculty of Medicine.
Patients benefit greatly from the surgeon's knowledge and experience in various conditions after tumour resections, in patients after accidents or traumas. For example, in the spine, they get practice in dealing with spinal deformities, and in abdominal surgery, for example, in tumor conditions where a piece of the digestive tube is removed and a passage needs to be restored or replaced. There is a new course coming up in the autumn on rectal surgery where the patient's rectum is removed. This disease is quite common in the country.
"Our doctors will be much better educated and patients will get an experienced surgeon. In order to achieve this, we wanted to establish cooperation with foreign partners who use the new techniques routinely and we wanted to bring it to us in some way. In the case of plastic surgery, it is lymphedema therapy or lymphatic vessel reconstruction," adds doc. Joukal.
The project Surgery Collaborative and Long-term Practical Experience Learning is led by the Head of the Department of Anatomy of FM MU doc. MUDr. Marek Joukal, Ph.D. The project budget for the Faculty of Medicine of MU for the period of implementation for the years 2022 to 2024 is 140 thousand EUR.
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