The Bob Huffstadt course is a 2-day upper and lower limb flap dissection course held in Groningen, the Netherlands. The course is in English, with an international faculty of senior consultants from the Netherlands, Belgium, and United Kingdom. Faculty to participant ratio is 2:1, with 2 participants at each dissection table. The course is aimed at trainees in plastic surgery of all levels, and a comprehensive DVD is provided before the course, which demonstrates dissection of 35 flaps, ensuring those with little experience to have an understanding before dissection.
This course offered a comprehensive overview with plenty of practical application. The course can greatly develop operative and theoretical knowledge, while also demonstrating a commitment for those wishing to pursue a career in plastic surgery. Longer courses are available; however, the 2-day course can already provide an excellent introduction for junior trainees. There are few flap courses in the United Kingdom and senior trainees may have difficulty acquiring a place as they book up well in advance. With reductions in operating time, trainees may welcome further experience and development of techniques in the dissection room.
Most of both days were spent in the dissection room, raising flaps and receiving teaching from the faculty. Dissections included Foucher, Moberg, Becker, radial forearm, anterolateral thigh, and fibula flaps. Dissection specimens were fresh-frozen preparation, and 9 upper limb flaps were raised on the first day and 5 lower limb flaps on the second day. The faculty provided live demonstrations of perforator dissection, use of the hand-held Doppler, and tips and tricks. The last 2 hours of each day were spent with 2 lectures, including topics from the history of flaps and developments to challenging cases and reconstructive options.
The course fee was 1000 euros, including a 5-course dinner, lunch on both days, and a drinks reception on the final evening. I would recommend this course unreservedly to trainees new to flaps, or those with greater experience. The course was supportive, friendly, and provided an excellent basis to develop reconstructive skills. There is a world-class faculty who can improve the knowledge and techniques of any trainee in attendance.