Syllabus Outline

The content of this module was designed by a mixed team of specialist module leads, ethicists and clinicians.

The course will take place in a purpose-built facility at the University of Liverpool. It will run over a one-week intensive block and integrates over 30 hours of hands-on surgery in a simulated setting, supported by 15 hours of lectures and group tutorials. The practical skills on the course are supported by simulated surgery using a live terminally anaesthetised animal model. Inherent in this is a high degree of governance, veterinary support & valid Home Office Licence for faculty and trainees alike. The teaching of microvascular surgery is the only advanced skill where a Home Office license can be sought in order to authorise live animal operating in the UK, and only two such courses exist in the UK. This is the only course with a focus on head and neck microvascular surgery.

The assessment will comprise of an oral presentation of a case report, supported by robust evidence base; written assignment and feedback rich assessment of practical surgical skills in the simulated setting during the teaching week.

Teaching for all course components is undertaken by teams of academic and clinical specialists.

The ethos behind this curriculum is to:

  • Provide students with the highest quality learning experience;
  • Equip students with the knowledge, skills and behaviours required in professional life; 
  • Ensure teaching is informed and refreshed by research and best evidence;
  • Ensure staff are encouraged and supported in the development of excellent teaching practice. 


1. Function and effective use of microscopes and micro-instruments for microvasular surgery.

2. Principles of soft tissue surgical reconstruction.

3. Composite reconstruction surgical techniques: mandible, maxilla and skull base.

4. Terminology and classification of free flaps and alternate techniques for head and neck reconstructive surgery. Perforator and Chimeric free flaps.

5. Advanced vascular and related anatomy for planning of surgical procedures.

6. Risk assessment, planning and effective management of complex surgical cases to achieve a successful functional and aesthetic outcome.

7. Critical awareness of immediate, early and late surgical complications and their avoidance / effective management.

8. Principles and execution of end-to-end and end-to-side arterial and venous anastomoses.

Learning Outcomes

Ref No.

Learning Outcome / Skill:



Appraise in-depth knowledge and understanding of the evidence base and critically apply this in the treatment planning of complex head and neck surgical cases.

Learning Outcomes


Critically evaluate the possible complications and risk management surrounding planning for successful and aesthetic outcomes in head and neck reconstructive surgery.

Learning Outcomes


Develop, demonstrate and apply critically (in personalised, simulated patient context) advanced, complex, microvascular surgical skills in a safe, simulated environment, specifically in the use of operating microscope and micro-instruments for the appropriate, judicious and safe handling of small blood vessels.

Learning Outcomes


Develop, demonstrate and apply critically (in personalised, patient context) advanced, complex, microvascular surgical skills in the end-to-end and end-to-side anastomoses of arteries and veins in a simulated setting.

Learning Outcomes





Specialist technical practical skills



Patient management


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