The second Advanced Facial Anatomy Course was held at Melbourne University on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th November 2010. There were 12 Plastic Surgeons participating and 7 Faculty.

The second Course was an overwhelming success that resulted in tremendous appreciation and positive comment from the attendees. Some of their comments are recorded separately on the Home page of this site.

Many of the factors that contributed to the Course providing such benefit for the attendees were developments introduced following the first Workshop held in 2009.  This year there was a much greater emphasis on the learning from ‘hands on’ cadaver experience. All plastic surgeons appreciate the need for this in assisting their understanding of the facial layers and experiencing first hand the location and relations of the facial nerve branches.

To increase this experience, considerably more dissection time was provided this year, by lengthening the time of the Course, from the previous one and a half days to two full days, and even then, this time was just sufficient. Additionally, the number of attendees sharing each cadaver was reduced from the previous four, down to three. We realise that ideally, productivity would be maximal by having only two attendees for each head.

The guided dissection program was most successful in enhancing the learning possible from the exceptional quality cadavers. The ‘step by step ‘ program consisted of a new Course Dissection Manual along with a new Instruction video. The allocation of a specific teaching in the Dissection Room before each of the 6 Sessions proved most helpful in maximising the usefulness of the dissection time. In addition, the readily available help from having a high ratio of experienced faculty during the dissections was most appreciated.

The Course fulfilled its objective of not just being the usual type of Course in which surgical procedures are performed in a cadaver setting. Rather the Course enabled the participants, in just one weekend, to really understand the Anatomy of the face, from the basic principles to the nuances of detail sufficient to perform procedures in their practice.

Additional improvements for the 2010 Course were the improved surgical feel, with the use of quality plastic surgical instruments and quality disposable gowns and drapes provided by Device Technologies and of course the Ethicon sutures provided by Johnson & Johnson Medical. Additionally, the outstanding Vorotek headlights provided for each surgeon/dissector were ideal for plastic surgery quality dissection.

The Faculty derived real satisfaction from seeing attendees coming to important realisations about key anatomy concepts, suddenly proven by their findings in the dissection room. This year, in addition to welcoming back Professors Ian Taylor and Norman Eizenberg we were most pleased to have Associate Professor Chris Coombs on the Faculty with his wealth of facial nerve experience.

At the Planning meeting immediately following the Course it was decided to continue with this successful format for 2011, and to continue to expand the dissection experience for each attendee. Additionally, the number of attendees could be increased, but with the objective of maintaining the informal learning atmosphere and intimacy of the Course. There was a strong recommendation to again hold the faculty Dinner at the Savage Club as this was such a memorable experience.