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Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, Thomas Drive, L14 3PE
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Surgeons from across UK and Ireland attend Liverpool Masterclass

Date: 28 November 2017 09:53

Surgeons from across the UK and Ireland got the chance to learn and experience surgical treatments for a rare cardiovascular condition recently, at the 4th annual aortic masterclass session in Liverpool, funded by Heart Research UK.

Led by some of the country’s leading aortic surgeons from Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, including Miss Deborah Harrington, Mr Mark Field and Mr Manoj Kuduvalli, and held at the Human Anatomy Resource Centre at the University of Liverpool, the Masterclass helped 17 surgeons learn about complex surgical techniques that could save the lives of patients who need surgery on the aorta – the largest artery in the body.

Aortic surgery is an area of sub-specialisation uncommonly encountered by the majority of cardiac surgeons. In most UK centres it is difficult to train in aortic surgery due to both case complexity and low volume. Most senior cardiac surgical trainees will never perform arch or valve sparing root replacement and most recently appointed consultants will have had only limited exposure to such cases.     

The aim of the Aortic Masterclass was to provide a unique opportunity to gain hands on experience of total arch replacement and valve sparing root replacement, in a human cadaveric model, supervised by an expert Faculty. The Masterclass was aimed at recently appointed consultants and senior trainees in cardiac surgery who were already operating independently for the generality of cardiac cases.

The course began with presentations and discussion on aortic arch surgery and valve sparing root replacement, with practical tips and tricks on the technical aspects.

The remainder of the day was spent in the operating room where course delegates worked in pairs each supervised by a Faculty member. All delegates were able to perform a complete total arch replacement, and a valve sparing root replacement assisted by their colleagues. The day ran very successfully and we were grateful to the participants for their positive feedback.   


  • Thank you to all the delegates for being excellent participants, Faculty for their time & expertise, the University of Liverpool Human Anatomy Resource Centre, and finally Heart Research UK for their support in improving outcomes for our aortic patients.  
  • Vascutek who supplied a whole range of grafts allowing us to select the most appropriate for each situation.
  • Medtronic for supplying the sutures
  • Wetlab for the instruments.