Training FFS Surgeons in facial gender at leading medical conference

The key to moving forward in training FFS surgeons is in the slogan of the 88th annual meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS):

#educate #collaborate #innovate

For these same reasons, Dr. Capitán was honored to form part of the international faculty at this year’s annual meeting of the ASPS in San Diego. As a professor involved in training FFS surgeons, he represented Facialteam’s passion to pioneer the field to an exclusive group of surgical residents as well as specialists in plastic and craniofacial surgery.

The pre-congress courses each year offer an opportunity for surgeons course in the most popular topics of the moment. This year, of only 4 professional development cadaver labs, one was dedicated to facial feminization techniques, highlighting a notable interest in this rapidly evolving field.

Facialteam’s history of technological advancement in cadaver labs

It is not the first time Facialteam has provided cad-lab training, having orchestrated multiple facial feminization training labs in 4 different institutions.

Facialteam conducted Spain’s very first surgeons training in FFS Surgery in 2015 at the facilities of the prestigious center for innovating healthcare technologies, IAVANTE, in Granada.

Then, in March 2018, a unique research cadaver lab in conjunction with Mectron, developer of revolutionary ultrasonic instruments for bone reconstructive surgery, took place with the purpose of testing prototype instruments designed for facial gender-affirming techniques.

Also in 2018, Facialteam Training & Education celebrated the inaugural cad-lab of it’s Facial Feminization Surgery Training Program, which takes place annually in the autumn in Marbella. Dr. Capitán was an invited faculty for another provider of medical technology, OsteoMed, at their cad-lab of the International European CMF Course in November 2018.

An initial FFS surgeons training at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital’s Grand Rounds included a cadaver lab in 2018. Thereafter, the JHU Center for Transgender Health and Facialteam conjointly established the International Facial Gender Symposium (IFGS) in July 2019, including an intensive full-day cad-lab training for FFS surgeons in the JHU University Hospital in Baltimore. Registration for the 2nd IFGS in 2020 is currently open.

Training FFS Surgeons of the future: the facial feminization cadaver labs at PSTM2019

Dr. Capitán arrived in San Diego, California (USA) two days ahead of time to work with organizers in preparing the final logistics of a complete cadaver lab at the San Diego Convention Center, no small feat considering they usually take place within specially-equipped operating theatres of medical research centers. “Everything was organized fantastically, thanks to Paul Hiller and Andrea Contreras of the ASPS Medical Education department.”

What was unique about this FFS Surgery Cadaver lab training?

The hands-on labs at #PSTM2019 formed part of the accredited courses for continuing education, a platform designed so leading experts may share the “tips and tricks” gained from experience with the next generation of surgeons. The facial feminization lab, featuring professors from three countries, focused on procedures in forehead reconstruction as well as jaw and chin techniques. Dr. Capitán reflected, “It was interesting to see the very different approaches of each faculty member, showing that not everything must be done the same way and there are distinct forms of understanding the philosophy of feminization as it applies to the forehead.”

Outcomes of the FFS Surgery Training

After completing the teaching session, Dr. Capitán reported on the keen interest of the participants in the new developments this field has to offer within the framework of oral and maxillofacial reconstructive surgery: “It is a discipline where much remains to be discovered. The trainees left wanting to learn more.”

Two objectives in Training FFS surgeons were prioritized:

  • Identify considerations which should be evaluated prior to performing facial gender surgery and
  • Determine the ideal methods to minimize risks related to facial gender affirming procedures

ffs surgeon training PSTM19The value of training courses at medical conventions

Dr. Capitán returned to Spain with renewed energy from The Meeting, thanks to the teaching, learning and professional networking experience it offered in a single weekend.

This kind of event refuels our motivation to evolve as it provides an opportunity to share our work with the scientific world and receive immediate feedback spontaneously. It was also an excellent way to connect with current and new medical technology providers.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons® (ASPS) receives certification by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The ASPS designated the Facial Feminization Surgery Cadaver Lab, a live activity training FFS surgeons, for a maximum of 3.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™

ASPS is a leading international authority on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery, organizing the largest event of its kind, with representation from 74 countries. The cadaver labs permit trainee surgeons to practice techniques while receiving guidance from some of the specialty’s master surgeons.

The practice of cad-labs for training surgeons

“It all started in 3rd century ancient Greece with two physicians by the name of Herophilus of Chalcedon and Erasistratus of Ceos. They practiced the dissection of cadavers in Alexandria, and it was the dominant means of learning anatomy.” (Wikipedia “cadaver”). Thereafter, the practice of research with human specimens surged and waned due to political and ethical circumstances, but the importance is clear: “indispensable for a sound knowledge in anatomy which can ensure safe as well as efficient clinical practice.” (Sanjib Kumar Ghosh, Anat Cell Biol. 2015 Sep; 48(3): 153–169.).

Share the story: #facialfemisation #genderconfirmationsurgery #gendersurgeons #plasticsurgery #facialgender #transhealth #pstm19 #educate #collaborate #innovate

Patient Relations Manager Lilia Koss, presentator of Lilia's Livestreams
About the author

Hello world! I’m Lilia Koss and I use she, her, and they pronouns. What are yours? With a background in humanities and diverse professional experiences, I have been working with the Facialteam founders and directors since 2018. Involved from the ground up, so I’ve had hands in many pots: patient coordination, orientation events on 3 continents, social media, written and audiovisual content about our gender-affirming healthcare...but now life is more defined. Lately, I focus my energies on Public Relations, community management and live streaming to help raise the visibility of trans health. Life is pretty complete.