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We were delighted to speak with Professor Moustapha Hamdi, Professor and Chairman of the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department at Brussels University Hospital, Belgium, about this career and plans for this year’s CATBBAS.


Professor Moustapha Hamdi.


Can you tell us a little bit about what led you into the field of plastic surgery?

When I was a medical student in the faculty of Medicine in Damascus, I was amazed by a TV programme on a TRAM flap breast reconstruction. Fortunately, since then I have made my way to be one of the world leaders in breast reconstruction. Breast reconstruction is the ultimate marriage between reconstructive and aesthetic surgery. In addition, it is wonderful to be involved in treating patients who are always so grateful.

Your career has taken you from Syria to Belgium; what have been the highlights so far?

Professionally speaking it was having the following three opportunities which changed my life in three steps:

  • My training in Professor Lejour’s Department in Brussels.
  • My fellowship at Canniesburn Hospital in Glasgow.
  • My first job in Gent which consequently led me to being the head of the plastic purgery department in Brussels.

At a private level, it was my marriage to my lovely wife Mimi that gave me, not only such a beautiful family, but also enriched me with a comfortable environment to proceed in my successful career.

What has been the best piece of advice that you have received in your career and what advice would you offer to those following in your footsteps?

Coming from the Middle Eastern region, I had to encounter many prejudices and challenges which got me down sometimes. In 1997, a real gentleman, and famous plastic surgeon, Mr Martin Webster from Canniesburn Hospital trusted my hands and encouraged me to: “Keep on doing the good work, Son. One day you will be a very important plastic surgeon.” Since then, I’ve never stopped. I still hear his words in my ears! I have always worked hard to reach where I am today. Therefore, I always advise my students and fellows: “Have a big dream but you need discipline and resilience to achieve it.”

What have been the most exciting developments in your field in the last decade?

During the third decade of my career, I focused on aesthetic refinements in both reconstruction and aesthetic surgery. However, the creation of my foundation (the Hamdi Foundation) for breast cancer and breast reconstruction awareness was an important step. On the practical side, I put a lot of effort into developing the ‘inner bra’ technique for mastopexy. It was a distinguished combination of anatomy understanding, technology and scientific study to provide patients with a safe and aesthetic technique with a stable long-term outcome.

You are the founder of CATBBAS which will hold its 7th edition in October this year. What made you set up the course and do you still enjoy your role in education?

Having an academic career makes education an essential part. CATBBAS is a comprehensive meeting that has a major mission to teach the best techniques to our plastic surgeons with the ultimate measurements of patient safety.

Can you tell us about the themes and potential highlights of this year’s event?

As you know, CATBBAS is about breast and body contouring aesthetic surgery. We will illustrate new techniques in high-definition liposculpture, buttock enhancement surgery, and the very ‘hot’ new technique of rib modelling. In breast surgery, we will show the latest developments in breast implants, techniques using mesh / scaffolds, and new horizons in fat grafting with SVF-enriched technologies.

Additionally, we will have two hot panels which were very successful in the last two editions: ‘My major mistake and how I solved it’, and also the ‘CATBBAS cup’ which demonstrates challenging cases and how to solve them between two teams of plastic surgeons in a relaxed and fun discussion.

And finally, if you have any spare time, how do you like to relax?

Spending time with my own family at our country house in the Yaafour district near Damascus is magic!

Many thanks for your time!



CATBBAS VII4–5 October 2024
Brussels, Belgium


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