October 2012 Rotterdam - Sonia Kukreja (Oshakati, Namibia)

“A well designed fellowship aimed to provide maximum exposure to multiple aspects of facial plastic surgery in a short time. The coursebook itself was so impressive that I couldn’t wait to start and I must say, that the grass was as green as depicted. The first person to contact, Ms Perlita Van Woerkom, remained a constant guide throughout the fellowship, happily providing all necessary help to make our stay comfortable. The fellowship provided a balanced exposure to the state hospital and private clinics practice. I would like to thank Dr Jacques Vander Meulen, the fellowship director and a very coolheaded and precise craniofacial surgeon, for his readiness to impart knowledge through a truly hands on experience whenever feasible. His openness to new ideas and experiences of the fellows is appreciable. One will easily appreciate the ease with which he does the cranioplasties, which are routinely done here as state of the art. Our all other supervisors, similarly are masters of their subjects. I learnt a lot from Dr Stevens, a wonderful facial rejuvenation and aesthetic breast surgeon, especially the art of being fast yet smooth by keeping the surgical steps in a predefined sequence and good staff communication. His ideas on 3 dimensions of facial rejuvenation are very convincing. Although I could go just twice to Utrecht due to significant distance from Rotterdam, but every visit was really fruitful. Prof Moshe Kon, shared with us his tips and tricks for microtia reconstruction, which really can a difference to the results. I was lucky enough to see patients with different stages of microtia reconstruction in a single day. Dr Marc Mureau and Dr Heike Klepetko, extremely talented microsurgeons, made microsurgery look like a child’s play. Erasmus MC and DDHK hospitals are high volume micro oncological reconstruction centres, almost having 4-5 free flaps a week. I was also fortunate to complete 30 hrs of microsurgical training in the well equipped skills lab of Erasmus MC. The residents were very friendly and welcoming as co assistants in surgeries and willingly translated the theatre lists for us . By every Friday all the next week’s theatre lists were emailed to us so that we could plan well for the coming week. I also managed to observe a few interesting procedures (including orthognathic and alveolar bone grafts) in the department of maxillofacial surgery, on my request, thanks to Dr Jacques and Dr Koudstaal. So, there is a lot to take back home, depends how much you can carry.”

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