The Plastic Surgery and Microsurgery Fellowship Program

Next available fellowship opening in 2022

The Plastic Surgery and Microsurgery Fellowship is a program in the Department of Musculoskeletal Diseases at Tampere University Hospital (Tays). The fellowship program is directed by Chief of the Plastic Surgery Department, Minna Kääriäinen, MD., PhD. The fellow will get exposure in most aspects of reconstructive plastic surgery, including free flap transfer in breast reconstruction, lower extremity, head&neck, and lymph node transfer. The annual number of free flap operations in our hospital exceeds 160 operations. In addition, reconstructions of chest wall, abdominal wall, pelvic floor and genitourinary tract as well as oculoplastic surgery are performed regularly.  Neither cleft lip and palate operations nor aesthetic surgery are done in our hospital.  Tampere Surgical Education Centre and University of Tampere provide excellent laboratory facilities for practical surgical training. The fellow will have the possibility to participate in clinical research.

Hand surgery is an independent medical specialty in Finland and therefore hand surgery operations are not done by plastic surgeons. We do however work closely with the Hand surgery department of our hospital, which also runs a fellowship program (The Hand and Microsurgery Fellowship Program), details of which can be found online. In addition, collaboration with the Traumatology department is a daily routine for plastic surgeons in our hospital, and we run an active orthoplastic team.

The official languages in Finland are Finnish (88% of the population) and Swedish (5%). Eighty-two percent of the population can speak some English and almost all young people have good conversation skills in English. Our hospital regularly hosts international students and fellows and most of the staff speaks English.

Faculty

At the moment, the faculty of Tampere University Hospital Plastic Surgery Department includes ten consultants and three residents.

Training Institution

The fellowship is based at Tampere University Hospital (Tays). Tays is an academic referral hospital and has also the major Emergency Department which serves a large area. During the course of the fellowship program, the fellow will be working with both acute and elective plastic surgery. Typical acute patients include soft tissue injuries, lower extremity open fractures, diabetic foot infections /other infected wounds, necrotizing fasciitis, burn injuries etc.

Program Structure

The Fellow will be assisting the consultants in operations including all forms of reconstructive plastic surgery performed in our hospital. A typical week includes one day of sarcoma surgery, 1-2 days in DIEP flap reconstructions, and one day with lower extremity or head&neck reconstruction. Day surgery including breast reductions, fat transfers, scar revisions and abdominoplasties etc. are also performed on several days a week. There are approximately 15-20 cases/year of reconstructions of the female genitourinary tract including vulvar cancer and exenterations, where a variety of local perforator flaps and TMG flaps are used. Besides surgery, the fellow can follow outpatient clinics, take part in the Wound Center of Tampere University Hospital which is the first and largest of its kind in Finland, as well as dedicate some time in a chosen research project.

Educational Program

Daily meetings: Every morning there is a faculty meeting at 7:50 a.m. during which the faculty discusses acute operations, hospitalized patients, and the daily program.

Weekly Plastic Surgery Conference: On Friday mornings at 8:10 am., a resident or fellow will prepare a 30-45 minute scientific presentation which is followed by a lively discussion

Team Meetings: The head&neck team gathers for a team meeting on Tuesday mornings at 8:10 to discuss current topics. The Ortoplastic team gathers for a review of ongoing multidisciplinary patients on Wednesday mornings at 8:10 am. The team for lower extremity, sarcoma and lymph node surgery gathers for a weekly meeting on Thursday mornings at 8:10 am. There is a clinicopathological Head&neck meeting on Mondays, and Sarcoma meeting on Thursdays.

Monthly Surgical Training Program: In cadaver dissection sessions at the Tampere Surgical Education Center it is possible to dissect and practice surgical operations in top-class facilities.

Flap course:  If the fellow so chooses, they can attend the International Tampere Plastic Surgery Flap Dissection Course. For the course, bookings should be made well in advance, because of the waiting list. There is a fee for the course. More details can be found at https://www.tays.fi/tampereflapcourse

Research

There are several ongoing research projects and PhD students in our unit.  If a prospect Fellow has research experience or strong research interests it is advisable to be in contact before starting the fellowship period. Information on the programs can be acquired from adjunct professor Ilkka Kaartinen , MD, PhD.

Salary and Vacation

The fellow is paid a salary of ~1600 euros/month. The fellow is entitled to approximately two days of paid vacation per month.

Application Process

Next available position opening for application in 2022. Exact dates to be announced later.
The application should include:

  • an informal application
  • curriculum vitae
  • list of previous training
  • a letter of recommendation