As plastic surgery becomes increasingly sub specialised, academic meetings covering specific niches multiply like the proverbial lapine model. Whilst such meetings satisfy the educational requirements of the supraspecialist within us all they arguably detract from our alter ego the generalist. Further, they lose the potential for cross pollination and those epiphanies of life when a nuance of big toe surgery answers a long unanswered bugbear in rhinoplasty. Without doubt, therefore, a place still exists for conferences covering all aspects.
The 26th Annual Conference of EURAPS in Edinburgh covered all aspects of plastic surgery. Research sessions covered the latest developments in tissue engineering. Clinical sessions on facial paralysis brought new ideas such as minimally invasive free muscle transfer. Breast papers covered new methods from fat augmented LD flaps, perforator based flaps, perforator based breast reduction and the latest evidence on implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL).
In cosmetic surgery a superb panel session on rhinoplasty balanced the possibilities of very complex reconstructive rhinoplasty with new developments and words of caution in injectables for minor imperfections.
In the genitourinary world we heard a very thoughtful description of the world’s first penis transplant by Frank Graewe from Stellenbosh, new insights into gender re-assignment surgery and new ideas for urethral reconstruction.
Our sister organisation AAPS provided John Reinisch to offer a masterclass in implant based ear reconstruction and SO Wikström from ISAR gave some counter arguments for autologous reconstruction. A superb discourse by McKay McKinnon on ‘How the Scots invented modern plastic surgery’ was delivered at the welcome ceremony.
Of course, inevitably, one learns as much in the social programme. The Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh were the delightful venue for both the academic meeting and the welcome reception. There is nowhere more impressive than the National Museum of Scotland to eat dinner; the joy and amusement in watching Moshe Kon, EURAPS President, murder ‘To a Haggis’ will live long in the memory! Finally, the Ghillie Dhu proved a grand venue for the farewell party.
Thanks to our fantastic conference organisers In Conference Ltd, and to our commercial sponsors, who served to remind us of the fundamental importance of clinicians and commerce working in partnership towards common goals.
In summary, EURAPS is in strong health. Our leader Fabio Santanelli di Pompeo steers the ship with great care. Its strength lies in its diversity. Members from all over Europe, from Reykjavik to Naples, push the boundaries in all areas of plastic surgery. They are enthusiastic but frankly terrible dancers, but most of all they are the friendliest bunch of surgeons who enjoy the intellectual rigours as much as the parties.
The next meeting will take place in Brussels, Belgium on 26-28 May 2016. Visit www.euraps.org for further information.