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International plastic surgery conference brings nearly 500 plastic surgeons to Helsinki

The annual meeting of European Association of Plastic Surgeons (EURAPS) is held in Helsinki, Finland from May 22 to May 25, 2019. The plastic surgery summit meeting is expected to bring nearly 500 European plastic surgeons to Helsinki.
The conference combines two meetings, and the general meeting of European Association of Plastic Surgeons is held at Finlandia Hall from May 23 to May 25, 2019. Both reconstructive plastic surgery and aesthetic plastic surgery achievements will be presented.


“The most popular subjects among the presentations are reconstructive surgery for breast cancer and breast reconstruction using the patient’s own tissue”, says Dr. Sinikka SuominenAssociate Professor on Plastic Surgery from HUS Helsinki University Hospital.

 Chief Physician in Plastic Surgery, who acts as the local host in organizing the conference.

On Thursday, May 23, the EURAPS opening ceremony will include a keynote speech, “Clinician of the Year”, from Professor Sirpa Asko-Seljavaara, who is a founding member of the association.


Possibilities of fat transfer revolutionise plastic surgery

The main panel of the year concerns the possibilities offered by fat transfers: “Are fat grafts the new universal remedy for tissue renewal? Fat transfers have revolutionised reconstructive surgery in recent years. Fat can be harvested via minor punctures by applying light pressure and the fat remains viable as it is transferred to thin cannulas in very small drops. Depending on the site’s location, the amount harvested can vary from a few millilitres up to half a litre. The fat cells, and the included stem cells and growth factors, not only provide volume, but also heal tissue damage, scars, and, for example, damage from radiation therapy.

 “Fat transfers are heavily used in aesthetic plastic surgery as well for repairing changes brought on by ageing”, Suominen states.


The panel’s speakers include Dr. Ramon Lull (Mallorca, Espanja), who talks about fat grafting for regeneration of the ageing face. Dr. Kim Bong-Sung from Zürich talks about benefits of lipografting in treatment of difficult chronic wounds. Dr. Daniel de Veccio (USA) sheds light on gluteal fat grafting, which has featured heavily in the press as its complications have even lead to death. Dr. Sylvie Abraham from Paris talks about intimate surgery by lipografting.


AAPS’s (American Association of Plastic Surgeons) Dr. W. P. Andrew Lee from Dallas presents the paper that won best paper award at the American association’s conference. AAPS is a sister organisation to the EURAPS. The topic is: Johns Hopkins University’s experience with complications of hand  transplantation.


Can we treat migraines with plastic surgery?

The conference will have four presentations on migraine surgery, which is a novel topic quickly gaining interest globally. Surgical decompression of nerves can be performed in eyebrow or forehead lift surgeries both in the forehead and in the back of the head.

The conference will also extensively discuss treatment of facial bone deformities, cleft lip and palate, skin cancer, and difficult injuries in the lower extremities.

Among topical subjects are treatment of lymphoedema, which is covered in several presentations dealing with lymph node transfer and lymphaticovenous anastomosis.


Finnish plastic surgery is well represented.

 Dr. Pauliina Hartiala, a plastic surgeon from Turku University Hospital, will hold a presentation about Finnish innovations: lymphatic growth factor therapy, originally developed by Professor Kari Alitalo, has been combined with lymph node transfer in a multi-centre study between Helsinki, Turku and Tampere. The study utilises gene manipulation and a weakened flu virus.

EURAPS is the most distinguished meeting in the specialty and only one in five proposed presentations are accepted. This is the 30th annual conference, which makes it a jubilee meeting. The association only grants membership to candidates who are distinguished, qualified plastic surgeons for a period of over 5 years. The president of the association is Dr. Norbert Pallua from Germany, who has previously acted also as the president of the European Association of Societies of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

The association has members in 18 countries, among them seven Finnish members. However, all specialists and residents are welcome to participate in the conference. In Finland, quality of plastic surgery is at an internationally high level, and 68 Finnish plastic surgeons have signed up for the conference. The exhibition area contains an exhibition about the history of plastic surgery in Finland.

The local host for the general meeting is Chief Physician in Plastic Surgery, Sinikka Suominen from HUS. The general meeting contains a meeting of the ERC, Euraps Research Council, which is moderated by Dr. Virve Koljonen and Dr. Susanna Kauhanen, who are both plastic surgeons at HUS. 


Further information:

Associate Professor on Plastic Surgery​ Sinikka Suominen, tel. +358 50 4271825, e-mail:  HUS Helsinki University Hospital, Orthopedic and Plastic Surgery


23.5.2019 16:52