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Final surgery course for McMillan Sim Lab

Rhinologist and skull base surgeon Nyssa Farrell, MD, demonstrates dissection technique while neurosurgeon Bhuvic Patel looks on.

The Multidisciplinary Surgical Simulation Lab in McMillan Hospital saw its final surgery course on May 11. The lab moves to its new location at the 6th floor of Farrell Learning and Teaching Center next month.

Residents from the departments of Neurosurgery and Otolaryngology practiced a variety of surgical approaches to the anterior skull base, including an open surgical cranio-orbitozytgomatic approach during the morning session and a trans-nasal endoscopic approach in the afternoon session.

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Neurosurgery resident Sean Gupta, MD (left), and otolaryngology resident Prith Roychowdhury, MD, practice an endoscopic dissection.

The event included lectures on anatomy and surgical approaches, offered by the surgical faculty, including guest lecturer Bhuvic Patel, MD, PhD.

Approaches to the anterior skull base require neurosurgeons and otolaryngologists to work together to surgically remove benign and malignant tumors involving the skull base and sinonasal tract and to correct vascular disorders such as aneurysms.

“Every year, we look forward to the multidisciplinary skull base course as it provides a phenomenal opportunity for our residents to hone their endoscopic skull base skills in collaboration with their neurosurgery counterparts,” said rhinologist and skull base surgeon Nyssa Farrell, MD. “This course is an essential part of our residents’ surgical development.”

This year marked the 11th anniversary of the course. Participating otolaryngology and neurosurgery faculty included:

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Otolaryngology resident Stephanie Youssef, MD (right), and neurosurgery resident Ryan Cleary, MD, practice their endoscopic approach to the skull base.

“The faculty commitment to this resident course from both the ENT and Neurosurgery departments is incredibly high,” said Kim, who is also the director of the Brain Tumor Center at Siteman Cancer Center. “I am so proud to be colleagues with all of the skull base faculty here at WashU.”

The course was supported by a number of vendors including Integra/Codman, Medtronic, and Peter Lazic.